Report: Trump needed a few more weeks to add more countries to the Abraham Accords

Ron Cantor —  January 23, 2021 — Leave a comment
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If U.S. President Donald Trump had a little bit more time he would have brought both Indonesia and Mauritania into the Abraham Accords, adding two more Muslim nations to declare peace with Israel — and possibly more. 

This is according to a story by The Times of Israel which quotes two U.S. officials, one of whom said Trump needed only a few more weeks to close the deal.

“Mauritania and Indonesia are high on the list, but it changes based upon various circumstances,” one senior U.S. official said. “You can put every country on the list, to the point where Iran will eventually join the Abraham Accords.”

Trump brokered the historic Abraham Accords, which brought four Muslim nations — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco — into normalized relations with Israel, over the past five months.

Indonesia is a Muslim nation with a population of 270 million. And Mauritania, a neighbor of Morocco, has 4.5 million people. 

Both Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been predicting that up to 10 countries would be joining the Abraham Accords given a bit more time, but the clock ran out — at least on the Trump administration — on Wednesday.

Trump’s senior advisor Jared Kushner and special envoy Avi Berkowitz had been forging relationships with the countries in question over the past four years. They believed Mauritania was next followed by Indonesia.

Oman has been another country that was rumored to be interested in normalizing relations and, of course, the big catch would be Saudi Arabia with whom Netanyahu had a secret meeting late last year fueling the speculation that the Kingdom would also join the Abraham Accords. But an agreement has yet to come out of Riyadh.

Biden has expressed his support for the Abraham  Accords and his nominee for secretary of state has said the administration would continue to encourage more countries to normalize relations with the Jewish state.

“I hope the Biden administration takes advantage of this because these are good for everyone. Peace is not a Republican ideal or a Democratic ideal,” said the senior official.

Indonesia stood to receive $2 billion in aid from such a deal.

“We’re talking to them about it,” said Adam Boehler, the CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. who has worked closely with Kushner. “If they’re ready, they’re ready, and if they are then we’ll be happy to even support more financially than what we do.”

The Times of Israel reported that its source said three to four more countries “should be the low bar for its success. Being unable to deliver that would be a significant disappointment.”

“There’s no doubt that when the U.S. wants to lead toward peace and normalization, more countries will follow,” the senior official added.

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