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According to Kushner, senior White House adviser and son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, an agreement to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates should be celebrated as a “historic step”. .
Under the agreement announced on Thursday, which the US helped broker, Israel agreed to postpone plans to cancel some of the West Bank-occupied territories. It sidesteps protests against Iran, a regional power in the Middle East, which sees the US, Israel and the United Arab Emirates as the main threats to stability.
Saudi Arabia, a close US ally and a highly influential force when it comes to regional policy towards Israel, remains silent on news of the deal.
“I think we have other countries that are very interested in moving forward,” Kushner said in an exclusive interview to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Friday, referring to diplomatic relations with Israel.
“And then, as it goes forward, I think it is an inevitability that there will be completely normalized relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel and they will be able to do a lot of great work together,” he said.
When Saudi Arabia’s silence was pressurized after the announcement of the deal, Kushner responded: “We made the first peace deal in 26 years and now you’re saying: ‘Well, we get someone else on board immediately. Want. In 1994, Israel and Jordan agreed to a peace deal.
“Saudi Arabia has obviously been a great leader in building (modernization), but you can’t change warships overnight,” he said.
The deal makes the United Arab Emirates the first Persian Gulf country to normalize relations with Israel and only a third Arab country after Israel and Jordan.
On Thursday, Trump described the agreement as a “great success” between two of America’s “great friends”, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the move paved the way for other Arab countries to sign the agreement. Can.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told CNBC’s Dan Murphy on Thursday that the peace deal was a “win-win” solution.
The European Union also welcomed the move, saying it would help promote stability in the region.
However, the agreement has been rejected by authorities in Palestine, Iran and Turkey. Shortly after the announcement, the Palestinian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates was recalled.
Kushner said during a press briefing on Thursday that Palestine’s condemnation of the peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates was “quite predictable.”
Palestine has repeatedly urged Arab leaders not to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel until a peace deal has been reached to establish an independent Palestinian state.
Peace Deal ‘Doesn’t Change Election’
For some, the agreement is seen as a foreign policy victory for Trump, who lags behind in the elections against the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden before the November election.
Trump has made a signature element of his first term in the Middle East, although his administration has made little progress.
“I think that what we have done has set the stage for a lot of progress in this area based on common sense, practicality and joint interests and a common approach,” Kushner said on Friday. .
“We have taken some old tumors that have infected the region and we have let them down over the years,” he said, adding, “Everything we have done is rational.”
Aham Kamel, head of the Middle East and North Africa practice of the Eurasia Group, states in a note that: “For Trump, the deal is straight after the strength of Joe Biden. President Trumpet will say he achieved a diplomatic breakthrough that Obama / Biden administration to gain. ‘T. ”
“The Declaration (of the deal) does not change our views on electoral dynamics, which will dominate the economy and the coronavirus. The Declaration will excite the evangelical Christian community in Trump’s base but will likely not have a major energy impact overall.” Added.
Biden praised the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates without mentioning Trump administration officials.
“The coming together of Israel and the Arab states creates a number of administration efforts to promote a broad Arab-Israeli opening, including efforts by the Arab-Israeli administration,” he said in a statement.
– Natasha Turk and Tucker Higgins of CNBC contributed to this report.