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World News

Kushner hopes another Arab state normalises Israel ties within 'months'

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien and other Emirati officials are seen at Al Dhafra airbase in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Dan Williams

DUBAI (Reuters) - White House adviser Jared Kushner hopes another Arab country normalises ties with Israel within months, he said, after arriving in the United Arab Emirates accompanied by Israeli officials on the first commercial flight between the countries.

No other Arab state has said so far it is considering following the UAE, which agreed to normalise ties with Israel in a U.S.-brokered deal announced on Aug. 13. Several have ruled out normalisation under current conditions.

Israel’s neighbours Egypt and Jordan reached peace deals with it decades ago, but other Arab states have long held the position that Israel must agree to give more land to the Palestinians for a state before ties can be normalised.

Israel and the United States have said they are pushing more Arab countries to follow the UAE’s path. Israel’s intelligence minister has mentioned Bahrain and Oman. Kushner will next visit Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar on his Gulf tour.

Asked by UAE state news agency WAM when the next Arab state could normalise ties, Kushner, son-in-law to President Donald Trump, was quoted as saying: “Let’s hope it’s months.”

The UAE-Israel deal was welcomed by some Gulf countries but has been met by overwhelming Palestinian opposition.

Writing by Alexander Cornwell and Lisa Barrington; Editing by Peter Graff

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