03:26 GMT19 January 2021
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    After decades without progress in achieving recognition of the Jewish state, Israel has managed to establish diplomatic ties with four Arab states over the last four months with assistance from the Trump administration.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a meeting with the US envoy to the UN, has hinted that "many, many more countries" might be establishing diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv without getting into any specifics.

    "You can see the Arab countries, some have already come forward, others are coming forward […] I think we should continue that policy and we're going to see many, many more countries, a lot more than people expect and perhaps a lot sooner than people expect [to do the same]", he said.

    Addressing US representative to the UN, Kelly Craft, Netanyahu thanked the Trump administration for "defending the truth and defending the State of Israel" at the international body.

    A prominent member of the co-ruling Likud party and Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister, Ofir Akunis, previously stated that at least two countries are considered to be close to setting up official relations with Tel Aviv but refused to name which ones exactly.

    Four Arab States Normalise Ties With Israel in One Year

    Decades after Egypt and Jordan established diplomatic ties with Israel, the UAE and Bahrain became the first two states to do the same in 2020 with help from the US, who served as a mediator. The two Gulf states signed the so-called Abraham Accords with Israel in September, paving the way for bilateral cooperation with the Jewish state in numerous areas – from tourism and culture to security.

    A month later, another Arab country, Sudan, also agreed to normalise relations with Tel Aviv. Morocco was the latest addition to the list of Arab states that recognised Israel, announcing the move in December.

    Most of these deals would have been impossible without concessions from Israel and the US. Tel Aviv put its plans to extend authority over some territory in the West Bank to a halt in order to establish ties with the UAE. The Trump administration also gave the green light to the sales of drones and F-35 jets to the monarchy soon after the deal was sealed, but the procurement of armaments was never a part of the accord.

    The US also removed Sudan from the list of states backing terrorists ahead of its deal with Israel and recognised Morocco's claims to Western Sahara as a part of the country's deal with Tel Aviv. It is unclear if the incoming Biden administration will honour these agreements, but the Democrat himself supports the Arab states' decision to normalise ties with Israel.

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    diplomatic relations, Arab world, Israel, US
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