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‘You’ll see interesting things’: US hints at new Arab-Israel ties during Biden trip

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A senior American official hinted Wednesday that more Arab nations are looking to make gestures to improve relations with Israel as US President Joe Biden readies to visit the region next month.

Biden will travel from July 13 to 16 to Israel, the West Bank, and to a regional meeting in Saudi Arabia, which former US president Donald Trump assiduously courted in hopes the kingdom home to Islam’s holiest sites would recognize the Jewish state.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf said that the Biden administration was encouraging greater cooperation between Israel and the Arab nations with which it has relations.

“We are working, in the space that is not in the public domain, with a couple of other countries. And I think you’ll see some interesting things around the time of the president’s visit,” she told a congressional subcommittee.

Asked to elaborate, Leaf said, “I really wouldn’t want to step on the president’s toes.”

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco became in 2020 the first Arab states in decades to normalize relations with Israel as part of the so-called Abraham Accords which Trump considered a signature foreign policy achievement. Sudan also signaled a willingness to normalize ties, but that has been largely frozen amid unrest........

© The Times of Israel

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