The United States suggested on Wednesday that other Arab countries could take a step towards Israel, already recognized in recent years by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, during the visit of President Joe Biden in the region in mid-July.
Beyond the Arab countries which have already normalized their relations with the Jewish state within the framework of the “Abraham Accords sponsored in 2020 by former U.S. President Donald Trump, “we work behind the scenes with a pair of other countries,” U.S. Middle East Foreign Minister Barbara Leaf told a parliamentary hearing.
“And I think you'll see some interesting things around the president's visit,” expected in Israel and Saudi Arabia, she added. In Jeddah, in the Saudi kingdom, the Democratic leader must notably participate in a summit of the Gulf countries.
Asked to specify the content of these advances, Barbara Leaf did not say whether he would would be full recognition by new states, or more modest progress in that direction. She also did not reveal which countries it might be.
“I really don't want to step on the president's toes,” she justified.
Joe Biden's government claims to want to amplify the “Abraham Accords”, which had led its Arab countries to recognize Israel for the first time since Egypt in 1979-80 and Jordan in 1994.
All speculation now centers on the intentions of Saudi Arabia, whose prince is sometimes said to heir Mohammed bin Salman relatively open on the issue.
The White House has previously announced that President Biden will travel from Israel to Jeddah, in the Gulf kingdom, by a direct flight — a first presented as a historic step forward.
Some hope for more specific progress on the occasion of the presidential visit.
Former American ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, now a researcher at the circle Atlantic Council think tank, recently told AFP that he expects a “road map” towards normalization between Saudi Arabia and the Jewish state.