White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters that five unnamed countries are considering normalizing relations with Israel following major peace deals brokered by the White House, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Meadows told reporters that three of the countries are located within the Gulf region, while two are outside of it.
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The announcement comes only days after the signing of the Abraham Accords on White House grounds this week. The accords brought together Muslim-majority Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates with Israel to normalize trade, social, and security relations in what is being hailed as a historic and region-changing agreement. Praise from the international community has been significant enough to warrant President Donald Trump's nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize.
As evidenced by the president’s Tuesday remarks on the South Lawn, the hope from Washington is that the accords will bring about a flurry of new peace deals.
"Today’s signing sets history on a new course," Trump said. "And there will be other countries very, very soon that will follow these great leaders."
There already have been other accords signed this month. Another landmark Washington-brokered deal in the Balkans normalized some relations between Kosovo and Serbia—historic bitter enemies. As part of the deal the Muslim-majority Kosovo also recognized Israel, while Serbia will move its embassy to Jerusalem in 2021.
Beyond the deals already brokered, the Washington Free Beacon reported confidence among administration officials that a peace deal may soon come to Saudi Arabia.
Washington has been prodding Riyadh to better relations with Israel, and the twin factors of peace with peer nations as well as Iran’s growing belligerence may be what it takes to tip the scales.
"I do believe it’s an inevitability that all countries in the Middle East" will eventually make peace with Israel, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said during a phone call with reporters. "I think [the agreement] was noticed by everyone in the region, how well the deal with Israel and UAE was received."