Eli Cohen, the foreign minister for Israel, revealed Friday that he anticipates “six or seven” Islamic countries to sign a normalisation agreement with Tel Aviv, as soon as Saudi Arabia joins other countries including the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan in the Abraham Accords.

“Six or seven nations from Africa and Asia will join the peace deal with the Saudis,” Cohen said during an interview with Israel’s KAN News on Friday.

“I’m telling you, I have met with several officials from Muslim nations with which Israel does not share formal ties,” Israel’s top diplomat added without mentioning the names of the nations.

Around a month ago, Cohen found himself in a pickle after he caused a significant diplomatic issue with Libya, as it was disclosed by his office that he had met with the then-former foreign minister of Libya, Najla Mangoush, in Rome.

Mangoush was eventually fired as a result of the discovery, which also caused widespread protests in North Africa, and fled to London. Following his error, US officials lambasted Cohen for “killing” their communication channel with Libya, The Cradle reported.

Additionally, Israeli media reported a Mossad agent who claimed that Cohen’s actions “dealt immense damage to the ties formed [with Libya] in recent years,” adding: “He burned the bridge. It’s irreparable.”

Cohen’s media interview came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the UN General Assembly, during which he asserted that Israel is “on the cusp” of normalising relations with Saudi Arabia while brandishing maps that depicted the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights as being a part of Israel.

In light of the White House’s haste to finalise the normalisation agreement before the 2024 US election season, Netanyahu later claimed that Israel has little chance of reaching an agreement in the next months, according to Fox News.

“I am willing to consider benefits to the Palestinians – without jeopardising the peace of Israel,” Netanyahu added before repeating claims he made at the UNGA, saying “We must not give the Palestinians a veto over new peace treaties with Arab states.”

Netanyahu’s remarks were repeated earlier this week by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who declared that a normalisation agreement is “getting closer” every day.

His remarks, however, come two days after the Saudi foreign minister emphasised that the establishment of a Palestinian state of independence is a must for any peace agreement with Israel.


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2023-09-24

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