The Times of Israel is reporting that the Trump administration was finalizing peace agreements between Israel and two more Muslim nations but time ran out.
According to the newspaper, Mauritania and Indonesia would have been the next countries to normalize relations with Israel according to two high-ranking U.S. officials.
After several successful agreements with other Muslim countries, Mauritania was on the verge of a deal, with American officials believing they were just weeks away from making another historic announcement.
The paper states:
The northwest African country was identified by the Trump peace team led by senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and special envoy Avi Berkowitz as a likely candidate to follow the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco in normalizing with the Jewish state, given that it once had relations with Israel.
After the United Arab Emirates agreed to a Trump plan to formalize peaceful ties with Israel last summer, Mauritania’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement offering support for the deal, saying it trusted Abu Dhabi’s “wisdom and good judgment” in signing the accord, the Times reports.
Those same U.S. officials say the next country that the administration expected to seek peace was Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country. Officlals say that the agreement was so close to being signed that it could have happened had President Donald Trump had a few more weeks time to secure it.
Indonesia’s size and importance gave it “extra symbolic importance,” to the Trump administration, the paper reports.
From the Times:
As Kushner and Berkowitz’s talks with Indonesia intensified last month, a senior administration official told Bloomberg that Indonesia could receive as much as $2 billion in development aid from the US.
“We’re talking to them about it,” said Adam Boehler, the CEO of the US 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.”
It is not known if the new Biden administration will be effective in securing additional peace treaties between Israel and the Muslim world. Former Secretary of State John Kerry had stated in the early days of the Trump administration that there would “be no” peace treaties signed under the Trump administration.
President Biden had alluded to his support for the Abraham Accords however officials close to him that such initiatives would not be a high priority of the new administration.
However, likely secretary of state Tony Blinken told stated in November, “As a basic principle, encouraging Arab countries to recognize and normalize with Israel is something we supported during the Obama-Biden administration and would support in a Biden-[Harris] administration.”
Trump oversaw the signing of a historic four treaties – a record for any American president and something historians are already calling an important and lasting legacy of his leadership in the world.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice