Pompeo hopes more Arab nations will follow UAE in deal with Israel

Jerusalem, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- United States secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Monday said he hoped other Arab nations would follow in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates towards normalizing relations with Israel.

He spoke at a press conference in Jerusalem alongside Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Very hopeful we’ll see other Arab nations join in this,” Pompeo said, adding that it would boost stability in the Middle East and improve the livelihoods of people in the region.

Netanyahu said the recent deal with the UAE was a “boom to peace and regional stability and heralds a new era where we have other nations join.”

Pompeo touched upon a controversial clause that could allow the US to sell F-35 warplanes to Abu Dhabi, lifting a vero and breaking a norm that obliges Washington to ensure Israel retains the military cutting edge in the region.

He said the US had a legal obligation to Israel that it would continue to honor but emphasized strong relations with the UAE, acknowledging, nonetheless, that the US would have to revise the current deal.

Netanyahu said the deal did not involve Israel’s acceptance of arms deals and highlighted his country’s support for maintaining a strong military in the region.

He thanked the US for its decision to push for international sanctions against Iran at the United Nations.

Pompeo’s tour of the region will take him to the UAE, Sudan and Bahrain, fuelling speculation that these countries will join the UAE in the pact with Israel. EFE-EPA


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