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After UAE deal, Pompeo ‘hopeful’ more Arab states will normalise Israel ties

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a joint statement to the press with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (unseen) after meeting in Jerusalem, on August 24, 2020. — AFP

JERUSALEM: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday praised Israel's normalisation of ties with the UAE and said he hoped to see other Arab countries follow suit.

"I'm very hopeful that we will see other Arab nations join in this," he said in Jerusalem, standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu said the deal with the Emirates, brokered by US President Donald Trump, "was a boon to peace and regional stability".

"I think it heralds a new era where we could have other nations join," he added. "I hope we'll have good news in the future, maybe in the near future."

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Pompeo spoke of the opportunity awaiting future partners "to work alongside, to recognise the State of Israel".

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It was the first day of a Mideast tour which the State Department said would also take Pompeo to Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

It said that he would meet Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to "express support for deepening the Sudan-Israel relationship".

Pompeo will also meet Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa before meeting UAE foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, it said.


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