Trump expects Saudi Arabia to join peace train with Israel

Trump said “I do” in answer to the question whether he expected the Saudis to join a peace agreement with Israel.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Speaking at a White House press conference on Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced he expects Saudi Arabia to join a political process started by the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations between the Arab countries and Israel,

Trump said “I do” in answer to the question whether he expected the Saudis to join the deal announced last Thursday in the Oval Office.

However, it’s not clear how easy it will be to convince Saudi Arabia to agree. Also on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan says his country was ready to establish similar relations but on condition that a peace agreement is first reached between Israel and the Palestinians. Given Palestinian rejectionism, that prospect appears unlikely in the extreme.

However, Farhan did support the deal between Israel and the UAE, saying the agreement “could be viewed as positive.”

At the press conference, Trump said the UAE-Israel accord was a good deal and “countries that you wouldn’t even believe want to come into that deal.”

Trump also said that the UAE had expressed interest in buying F35 jets, which he said were the most advanced in the world.

“They have the money and they would like to order quite a few F35s,” Trump said. The president said it would be a nice change from most countries the U.S. sells its jets to, which don’t have the money to pay.

The question of advanced military hardware sales to Arab countries is a touchy one for Israel, which is intent on keeping its military edge in a hostile region. The question of F35s  going to the UAE has been well-covered in the Hebrew news since a story about the possibility appeared in Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.

Netanyahu fiercely denied there was a military component to the deal allowing the sale of the advanced jets, but the negative coverage has put a damper on the positive reception to the peace deal, which according to polls is supported by 80 percent of the public.