Trump predicts Saudi Arabia will forge ties with Israel

Trump tells reporters at least five countries want to normalize ties with Israel, says he expects Saudi Arabia to be one of those countries.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

US President Donald Trump once again predicted on Friday that Saudi Arabia would soon forge ties with Israel after brokering an agreement for Sudan to normalize ties with the Jewish state.

Speaking to reporters as he held a three-way phone conversation with the prime ministers of Israel and Sudan, Trump said at least another five Arab nations wanted to join the diplomatic bandwagon, which saw the inking of similar agreements involving Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates last month.

"We have at least five that want to come in," Trump told reporters in the White House, according to the AFP news agency.

"We expect Saudi Arabia will be one of those countries," he added, as he praised the country's "highly respected" rulers King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week met Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and encouraged Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel.

Pompeo said the agreement with the UAE and Bahrain "contributed greatly to our shared goals for regional peace and security."

Avi Berkowitz, Trump’s Middle East envoy, later said the US had held positive talks with the Saudis on the issue.

“That is a decision for them to ultimately come to, our conversations with them have been positive on numerous fronts,” Berkowitz said, adding, “We look to them for an understanding in the region of the temperature of how things are going on numerous fronts, we’ve had very good discussions with them but time will tell.”

While Saudi Arabia has not reached any normalization agreement with Israel, recent reports indicated that the Kingdom was working behind the scenes and urged the UAE and Bahrain to reach their respective deals with the Jewish state.

Prince Faisal recently appeared to pour cold water on the prospects of Saudi-Israeli normalization taking place any time soon.

“I believe that the focus now needs to be on getting the Palestinians and the Israelis back to the negotiating table. In the end, the only thing that can deliver lasting peace and lasting stability is an agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” the Saudi minister said in a virtual appearance at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)