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World News

White House says five more countries seriously considering Israel deals

FILE PHOTO: Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed display their copies of signed agreements while U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as they participate in the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords, normalizing relations between Israel and some of its Middle East neighbors, in a strategic realignment of Middle Eastern countries against Iran, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

MOSINEE, Wis. (Reuters) - White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Thursday that five more countries are seriously considering striking a normalization deal with Israel after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed accords this week.

Meadows, speaking to reporters on Air Force One on the flight that carried President Donald Trump to a campaign rally in Wisconsin, would not identify the five nations.

But he said three were in the region. He would not comment further.

Trump has spoken optimistically about more countries agreeing to a normalization of relations with Israel following the UAE and Bahrain deals.

One possibility is Oman, whose ambassador attended the White House ceremony on Tuesday. Trump predicted on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia would eventually agree to a deal.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney

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