After Sudan, Trump predicts Saudis to forge Israel ties

Washington (AFP) –


US President Donald Trump predicted Friday that Saudi Arabia would soon forge ties with Israel after brokering an agreement for Sudan to normalize ties with the Jewish state.

Speaking to reporters as he held a three-way phone conversation with the prime ministers of Israel and Sudan, Trump said at least another five Arab nations wanted to join the diplomatic bandwagon, which saw the inking of similar agreements involving Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates last month.

"We have at least five that want to come in," Trump told reporters in the White House.

"We expect Saudi Arabia will be one of those countries," he added, as he praised the country's "highly respected" rulers King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Although Trump did not mention any other countries, Oman and Mauritania are among the other countries in the region that have been tipped to normalize ties.

Before the recent accords between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan had been the only Arab nations to have a formal peace deal with the Jewish state.

Trump announced the agreement between Israel and Sudan's year-old civilian-backed government moments after he formally moved to end Khartoum's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.