Photo: Reuters, Flash90

Trump: Saudi-Israel ties may be next

U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged that he expects Saudi Arabia to soon follow in the footsteps of its closest regional-ally, the United Arab Emirates – to normalize relations with the state of Israel. The American leader made the comment during a press briefing in response to a question from a reporter.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan cautiously welcomed the historic agreement between Israel and the UAE, although he refrained from backing it outright. The Saudi top diplomat did, however, confirm Riyadh is open to normalizing relations with Jerusalem if a peace treaty based on the 2002 Arab initiative is reached between Israel and the Palestinians.

President Donald Trump also expressed his belief that many other Arab countries will soon normalize relations with the Jewish State. “I’d see a lot of countries coming in fairly quickly. And, when you have them all in, ultimately Iran will come in, too. There will be peace in the Middle East. That will be nice. Iran would be very much neutralized. They never thought this could have happened. And with the horrendously stupid Iran deal signed by Obama, this could have never happened,” he said.

When asked whether Washington will sell sophisticated stealth aircraft to Abu Dhabi, President Trump replied, “Yeah, they would like to buy F-35s. We will see what happens. It is under review. But, they have made a great advance in peace in the Middle East.”

He further observed that, “They definitely have got the money to pay for it. You know, it is nice, because usually a lot of times when we make deals they don’t have ten cents these countries we deal with. We give it to them, like, how about paying us back later? But, they never pay because they don’t have the money. No, they have the money and they would like to order quite a few F-35s.”

It is important to note that both American and Emirati sources confirmed that Jerusalem waivered its long-time objection for the sale of the advanced weapon system in return for the normalization of bilateral relations. Following rising anger within Israel’s Defense establishment over the development, however, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now claims that he had no prior knowledge of any such consent.