U.S. Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo April 29, 2020 - Nicholas Kamm / AP / SIPA

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected Monday in Jerusalem for a five-day tour of the Middle East on the ongoing normalization between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and even its possible extension to other Arab countries.

Pompeo to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Iran on economic exchanges and "deepening" relations between Israel and the rest of the Middle East, his spokesman said in Washington .

Which countries for normalization with Israel?

Since the normalization agreement ten days ago with the United Arab Emirates and Israel, speculation has been rife on the other possible candidates for normalization with the Hebrew state: Bahrain, Oman, even Sudan?

But after Israel, the head of American diplomacy will go to Khartoum to discuss the "transition" in this country which turned the page last year on three decades of the era of Omar al-Bashir, and the relationship with Israel. -Sudan. He will then travel to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, according to his spokesperson.

“There are many countries with possibilities (for peace). I don't want to name any in particular (…) but we hope for developments very, very, quickly, in the weeks or months to come, ”Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Demer told Al-Arabiya channel.

In favor of normalization, Israel and the Emirates have said they want to increase trade, the sale of Emirati oil to Israel, and Israeli technology to the Emirates, in addition to boosting the tourism sector with the key to flight projects. direct between Tel Aviv and Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Netanyahu said he wanted the flights to pass through Saudi Arabia's airspace. Riyadh has ruled out any agreement with Israel before a peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.

"Change the trajectory"

Announced last January, the Trump plan for the Middle East, provided for cooperation between Israel and Arab countries hostile to Iran, sworn enemy of the Jewish state, and the annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel.

The Emirates assure that the agreement reached with the Jewish state provides for "ending any further annexation" of areas in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967. But Mr. Netanyahu said that the annexation was simply "postponed. ". After the announcement on August 13 of the agreement between Israel and Abu Dhabi, the Palestinian leadership denounced a "stab in the back", the Emirates having normalized ties with the Hebrew state without prior Israeli-Palestinian peace.

But normalization "will make it possible to change the trajectory of the region from a past of hostility and conflicts, to one of hope, peace and prosperity", pleaded the ambassador of the Emirates in Washington, Youssef al- Otaïba, in a letter in Hebrew published on Friday in the front page of Yediot Aharonot, the best-selling newspaper in Israel.

But he also warned that "difficulties" could appear on the horizon but without calling into question standardization, according to him.


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