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April 14, 2021 2:34 pm

Blinken Hints at New Normalization Deals in Israeli Independence Day Remarks: ‘I Expect Israel’s Group of Friends to Grow’

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks about priorities for administration of U.S. President Joe Biden in the Ben Franklin room at the State Department in Washington, U.S. March 3, 2021. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed US support for Israel’s recent normalization deals with Arab countries and said he expected new “opportunities” for other agreements in the coming years, during video remarks released Wednesday on the eve of the Jewish state’s Independence Day.

“The United States welcomes and supports the recent normalization agreements. We will continue to urge more countries to normalize relations with Israel and will look for other opportunities to expand cooperation among countries in the region. As a result, I expect Israel’s group of friends to grow even wider in the years ahead,” Blinken said.

“This past year has been particularly challenging for the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s allowed Israel to once again demonstrate its resilience, strength and compassion, whether by leading the world in your vaccination rate or by making new friends from Morocco all the way to Bhutan,” he stated.

The pre-recorded statement will be aired by the Israeli embassy to the US as part of a Wednesday evening broadcast, commemorating Israel’s 73rd independence day, which followed its memorial day to fallen soldiers and victims of terror on Tuesday.

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Within the past year, Israel has reached agreements to normalize relations with countries including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan. On Tuesday, reports emerged that Sudan plans to send a delegation to Israel next week to solidify the new ties.

In March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that four other agreements were already in the works, without naming the countries.

“I send my warmest wishes to the people of Israel as you celebrate your independence day. In your 73rd year of freedom, we salute Israel’s determination, bravery and ingenuity, which have made possible your country’s prosperity and hard-won security,” Blinken said in the Wednesday remarks.

“The United States’ commitment to Israels’ security is ironclad. And together, we’re at work strengthening all aspects of our partnership, just like we’ve been doing since the United States first recognized Israel in 1948,” he continued.


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