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Trump Pushing ‘Non-belligerency’ Pacts between Israel, Arab States

The White House is reportedly pressing at least four Arab states to sign “non-belligerency” agreements with Israel as a prelude to the establishment of full bilateral ties. According to the US-based Axios news site, President Donald Trump’s deputy national security adviser last week discussed the matter in Washington with diplomats from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Oman, all of which are believed to be covertly cooperating with the Jewish state even in the absence of formal diplomatic ties. Axios further reported that US officials recently held talks with counterparts from the Israeli Foreign Ministry in an effort to lay the preliminary groundwork. In October 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a surprise visit to Oman, and earlier that year reportedly traveled to Egypt and Jordan, the two Arab nations with which Israel has forged peace treaties. Since then, multiple Israeli politicians, including cabinet ministers, have made public trips to various Sunni Gulf countries, evidence of a general rapprochement precipitated primarily by shared concerns over Shi’ite Iran’s military interventions abroad and its potential nuclearization.