Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law to President Trump, is hopeful that other nations will soon follow in the UAE’s footsteps after a historic flight this week between Israel and the country in a normalized relationship last agreed to. month.
Following the theft, which Kushner flew on, the official suggested to the United Arab Emirates state news agency WAM that he hoped other countries would follow his lead in a short period of time, according to a Reuters report.
“Hopefully it’s months,” Kushner told the outlet.
The August deal made the United Arab Emirates the third country in the Middle East to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with Israel – a move that angered Palestinians and Iran.
Egypt and Jordan have established relations with Israel that stretch back decades, but until recently other Arab countries have held firm to rejecting diplomatic relations until Israel leaves the Palestinian lands it the UN considered illegally occupied territory.
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Kushner has visited Bahrain and is expected to visit Saudi Arabia and Qatar, three of the richest countries in the Middle East, according to the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Notably, Kuwait was absent from Kushner’s travel plans, despite ranking the second richest country in the Middle East last year.
Kuwait has remained friends with Iran despite rising tensions between the Shiite nation and other Gulf states in recent years. This includes Saudi Arabia, which severed ties with Iran in 2016, after an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have also all supported Trump’s 2018 decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, while Kuwait, Qatar and Oman have chosen to maintain economic and political ties with Iran.
Although no other Middle Eastern country has confirmed additional diplomatic ties with Israel, Saudi Arabia has allowed the plane carrying Kushner and the Israeli delegation to use its airspace, according to Reuters.
The Bahraini government has also reportedly hailed the new ties found between the UAE as a successful measure to defend Arab and Islamic interests in the region.
The Palestinians denounced the UAE’s decision, calling it a “danger of poison” and a reward for their aggression against the Palestinians.
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“You have destroyed, with this initiative, any possibility of peace between Palestinians and Israelis,” senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said last month following the recently announced ties.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quick to denounce the UAE-Israel deal, calling it a “huge mistake” and “a betrayal of the will of the Palestinian people and the will of the Muslims.”
And in a scathing speech Tuesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned Kushner’s latest trip.
“The Emiratis will be dishonored forever for this betrayal against the Islamic world, the Arab nations and Palestine,” Ayatollah said.
He further condemned the UAE.
“The UAE, along with the Israelis and evil Americans like Trump’s Jewish family member, are working together against the interests of the Islamic world,” Khamenei said, referring to the Kushner who is Jewish, Reuters reported.
Asked about Khamenei’s comments, Jamal Al-Musharakh, an official with the UAE Foreign Ministry, said: “The path to peace and prosperity is not paved with incitement and hate speech. ”
Kushner reportedly spent Tuesday morning at al-Dhafra air base talking to UAE pilots about the F-35 fighter jets, according to an Al Jazeera report.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed reports that surfaced last month, saying US security officials gave a “confidential briefing” about the F-35 to UAE officials, calling it ” fake news ”.
“The peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates does not include any clause on this matter, and the United States has made it clear to Israel that it will always preserve Israel’s qualitative advantage,” he said in an August press release referring to arms sales to Israel that include the advance F -35 jet fighters.
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The UAE reportedly said that with normalized ties between itself and Israel, it was free to participate in arms sales with the United States.
Netanyahu condemned such a sale.