FILE - In this June 25, 2019, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy Kabul during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan. On Monday, March 23, 2020, Pompeo arrived in Kabul on an urgent visit to try to move forward a U.S. peace deal signed last month with the Taliban. Pompeo's trip to the Afghan capital comes despite the coronavirus pandemic, at a time when world leaders and statesmen are curtailing official travel. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday congratulated Israel on its deal with the United Arab Emirates, urging other Arab countries to also recognize the Jewish state.

“I’m very hopeful that we will see other Arab nations join in this,” the top US diplomat said during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

“The opportunity for them to work alongside, to recognize the state of Israel,” would create great opportunities for the Middle East, Pompeo added.

Earlier this month, the UAE and Israel announced a US-brokered agreement to normalize diplomatic ties in return for Israel suspending a controversial plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

The deal makes the UAE the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan – and the first Arab Gulf country – to have diplomatic links with Israel, and there has been widespread speculation about whether other nations will follow suit.

Pompeo assured Israel, as well as the UAE, of continued military support against Iran in the face of a lifting arms embargo on the country.

The US would make sure to deliver the UAE “the equipment that they need to secure and defend their own people from this same threat: from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo said.

Netanyahu also criticized the United Nations for rejecting a US bid to indefinitely extend the arms embargo on Iran, which expires in October as part of the Iran nuclear deal.

“To see the Security Council not only not join the American’s snapback sanctions but resist it … is outrageous,” Netanyahu said.
Israel is Pompeo’s first stop on trip that also includes visits to Sudan, Bahrain and the UAE.

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