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Indonesia and Mauritania were 'close' to recognising Israel, say Trump officials

US officials claim Washington was in 'intermediate' talks with Oman and less advanced talks with Saudi Arabia to recognise Israel
Mauritania was 'weeks' away from signing an agreement to normalise relations with Israel but ran out of time because of Trump's presidency ending (Reuters)

Two US officials have claimed that the outgoing Trump administration ran out of time before it could secure agreements with Indonesia and Mauritania to normalise relations with Israel.

The officials, who spoke to the Times of Israel, said that US President Donald Trump would have secured the deal if he were to be in office for another month or two. 

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“Mauritania and Indonesia are high on the list, but it changes based upon various circumstances,” one senior US official told the Times of Israel. 

“You can put every country on the list, to the point where Iran will eventually join the Abraham Accords.”

Mauritania was apparently "weeks" away from finalising a deal, claimed the officials after Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner identified the northwestern African country as a possible candidate to normalise relations with Israel.

One official also alleged that Trump was in "intermediate" talks with Oman to normalise relations with Israel and "less" advanced talks with Saudi Arabia, which would have taken longer.

Last year, Jakarta played down reports of normalisation with Israel, after a senior US official told Bloomberg that Indonesia could receive $2bn in development aid from the US. 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas it would not sign an agreement to recognise Israel until there was a viable Palestinian state. 

Meanwhile, US President-elect Joe Biden during his election campaign said that he supported the Abraham Accords.

Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has also said that recognition of Israel is something he would support but not prioritise. 

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