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‘No longer waiting for Palestinians’: Israel holds ‘many more’ secret talks with Arab states on normalizing ties, Netanyahu claims

“There are many more unpublicized meetings with Arab and Muslim leaders to normalize relations with the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said at a joint press conference with US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and Jared Kushner, the White House senior adviser.

The prime minister did not name any particular Arab nations with which Israel is supposedly in talks, but said other Muslim leaders have now lined up to make peace with his country. The UAE’s decision to normalize relations with Israel has deprived Palestine of its “veto” on peace between the Jewish state and the Arab world.

“If we’d have to wait for the Palestinians, we’d have to wait forever. No longer,” he added.

The developments come after the UAE’s president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, signed a decree abolishing a 1972 law banning any deals between the Emirates and Israel. The move furthers the normalization agreement mediated by the US and signed by the two nations earlier this month.

The deal was sharply criticized by Palestinian officials as well as by some other nations, such as Turkey, that accused Abu Dhabi of betraying the Palestinian cause in pursuit of its own interests.

However, the UAE apparently plans to stick to its chosen course – on Monday, the first direct flight between Israel and the UAE will carry a joint US-Israeli delegation led by Kushner and Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat to the Arab state. An Israeli Defense Ministry delegation is also expected to travel to Abu Dhabi in the coming weeks.

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