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Saudi Arabia will join Israel-UAE agreement

“I do,” Trump replied when asked at a White House news conference if he expected Saudi Arabia to join the deal.

Trump also said “countries that you wouldn’t even believe want to come into that deal,” and that the UAE was interested in buying F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin.

“They have the money and they would like to order quite a few F-35s,” he added.

His comments came hours after Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said his country would not follow the United Arab Emirates until Israel had sealed a peace accord with the Palestinians.

Speaking to reporters on a visit to Berlin, the Saudi Minister said that “peace must be achieved with the Palestinians” on the basis of international agreements as a condition for any normalization of relations with Israel.

“Once that is achieved all things are possible,” he said.

Until now, Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest economy, has remained silent over the deal. 

Meanwhile, global ratings agency Moody’s reported that the UAE will benefit from enhanced tourism and transportation opportunities from the agreement with Israel. 

The UAE is only the third Arab country to formally establish ties with Israel after Egypt and Jordan, and may spur recognition from other GCC countries, the report said.

For the UAE, the deal marks a significant foreign policy step that will expand its influence abroad, including with the US.

Following the announcement, the Emirati APEX National Investment Company signed a commercial agreement with Israel’s Tera Group to conduct research on Covid-19 and develop a testing device. 

The Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Centre (ADSSC) also said it has signed an agreement with Israel’s Pluristem Therapeutics for collaboration in research and development of services and products related to regenerative medicine.

Delegations from both countries will meet over the coming weeks to discuss agreements on travel, trade and the opening of diplomatic offices. 

While the details of the relationship have yet to be concluded, the deal could present significant opportunities for bilateral trade, tourism and investment between the two countries.

According to Israel’s Economy Ministry, the normalization of ties could increase exports to the UAE to $300-$500 million annually, and UAE investments in Israel could reach $350 million a year.

Israel will also benefit from access to more secure oil supplies.