Trump officials: Mauritania, Indonesia were next to normalize, but time ran out

US peace team was ‘weeks’ away from inking deal with northwest African country to re-establish ties with Israel, outgoing officials say, adding that Jakarta was not far behind

The Trump administration was closing in on agreements with Mauritania and Indonesia to be the next Muslim countries to normalize relations with Israel, but ran out of time before the Republican president’s term ended, two US officials told The Times of Israel this week.

An agreement with Mauritania was the closest to being reached, with US officials believing they were mere weeks away from finalizing a deal. The northwest African country was identified by the Trump peace team led by senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and special envoy Avi Berkowitz as a likely candidate to follow the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco in normalizing with the Jewish state, given that it once had relations with Israel.

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When Israel and Arab nations unite, world should take note, says UN ambassador

 Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan reflected on 2020 and how “Israel’s future looks brighter than ever” in his address on Sunday night at the Zionist Organization of America’s Virtual Superstar Gala.

Erdan, also Israel’s incoming ambassador to the United States, received the ZOA’s Woo KaiSheng Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Diplomacy. In his acceptance speech, he said that while this past year “supplied a fair amount of hate, it also delivered a fair amount of peace.”

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