Pompeo in Jerusalem, urges other Arab countries to recognise Israel

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Jerusalem, Aug. 24, 2020 (dpa/Naija247news) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday congratulated Israel on its recent diplomacy with the UAE, urging other Arab countries to also recognize the Jewish state.
“I’m very hopeful that we will see other Arab nations join in this.

“The opportunity for them to work alongside, to recognize the state of Israel, will create great opportunities for the Middle East,” Pompeo said.

Earlier, the UAE and Israel announced a U.S.-brokered agreement to normalise diplomatic ties in return for Israel suspending a controversial plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

The deal makes the UAE the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan, and the first Arab Gulf country, to have diplomatic links with Israel.

However, there had been widespread speculation about whether other nations would follow suit.

Pompeo, however, assured Israel, as well as the UAE, of continued military support against Iran in the face of a lifting of the arms embargo on the country.

“The U.S. will make sure to deliver the UAE the equipment that they need to secure and defend their own people from same threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said said.

Netanyahu also criticized the UN for rejecting a U.S. bid to indefinitely extend the arms embargo on Iran, which would expire in October as part of the Iran nuclear deal.

Netanyahu said it was outrageous that the Security Council had not sided with the U.S. efforts to re-impose the sanctions.

Pompeo also met with Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

“We will continue to lead, in tandem with the U.S., an uncompromising line toward Iran.

“We will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons and will act on every front and by every means to prevent that,“Gantz said.

Israel is Pompeo’s first stop on a trip that also includes visits to Sudan, Bahrain and the UAE.

Meanwhile, ties deepened between Israel and the UAE on Monday.

The two countries’ Health Ministers, Yuli Edelstein and Abdul Rahman Owais, during a phone conversation, agreed to cooperate more closely on combating Covid-19 and to establish a joint special commissioner for the purpose.

However, business representatives would discuss the formation of joint businesses between the two countries and a student exchange programme would be set up at the same time.