Pompeo: Other Arab countries will normalize relations with Israel

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes part in a security briefing on Mount Bental in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, near Merom Golan on the border with Syria, on November 19, 2020. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 22 November 2020

Pompeo: Other Arab countries will normalize relations with Israel

  • Pompeo said Washington will continue working for peace in the region
  • He also said the US held a consistent stance towards Iran during Trump’s time in the office

DUBAI: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said other Arab countries will also normalize ties with Israel, Al-Arabiya TV reported on Sunday.
Washington will continue working for peace in the region, while keeping the threat of Iran in mind, he added.
The US was looking to create a peace deal between Palestine and Israel, but the Palestinian leadership refused to participate, Pompeo said.
“I am very confident that other nations will join what the Emiratis, Bahrainis, and Sudanese have done and recognize the rightful place of Israel among nations,” he told Al-Arabiya in an exclusive interview.
“They’ll do it because it’s the right thing to do for their nation, because of increased prosperity and security for their country,” Pompeo added.
The US Secretary of State explained how this was possible to Washington’s role in “laying down the risks in the Middle East from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
“The reality is that now the Gulf states and Israel recognized they have a common threat from Iran,” the Secretary of State said, adding that the US “would love for the Palestinians to engage with Israel [but] their leadership has rejected President Trump’s vision for peace,” Pompeo added.
He also said the US held a consistent stance towards Iran during Trump’s time in the office.
“We’ve delivered on every commitment we’ve made to countries in the Middle East, we’ve protected Americans, we’ve built up partners who want to partner with the United States of America,” Pompeo said during the interview, adding, “there’s no reason that’ll change while President Trump is in office.”


German defense minister rejects Turkey complaint over Libya weapons ship search

Updated 24 November 2020

German defense minister rejects Turkey complaint over Libya weapons ship search

  • Germany insists it acted correctly in boarding a Turkish ship to enforce arms embargo of Libya
  • Turkey summoned European diplomats to complain at the operation

BERLIN: Germany’s defense minister on Tuesday rejected Turkey’s complaints over the search of a Turkish freighter in the Mediterranean Sea by a German frigate participating in a European mission, insisting that German sailors acted correctly.
Sunday’s incident prompted Turkey to summon diplomats representing the European Union, Germany and Italy and assert that the Libya-bound freighter Rosaline-A was subjected to an “illegal” search by personnel from the German frigate Hamburg. The German ship is part of the European Union’s Irini naval mission, which is enforcing an arms embargo against Libya.
German officials say that the order to board the ship came from Irini’s headquarters in Rome and that Turkey protested while the team was on board. The search was then ended.
Turkey says the search was “unauthorized and conducted by force.”
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer backed the German crew’s actions.
“It is important to me to make really clear that the Bundeswehr soldiers behaved completely correctly,” she said during an appearance in Berlin. “They did what is asked of them in the framework of the European Irini mandate.”
“That there is this debate with the Turkish side points to one of the fundamental problems of this European mission,” Kramp-Karrenbauer added, without elaborating. “But it is very important to me to say clearly here that there are no grounds for these accusations that are now being made against the soldiers.”
This was the second incident between Turkey and naval forces from a NATO ally enforcing an arms blockade against Libya.
In June, NATO launched an investigation over an incident between Turkish warships and a French naval vessel in the Mediterranean, after France said one of its frigates was “lit up” three times by Turkish naval targeting radar when it tried to approach a Turkish civilian ship suspected of involvement in arms trafficking.
Turkey supports a UN-backed government in Tripoli against rival forces based in the country’s east. It has complained that the EU naval operation focuses its efforts too much on the Tripoli administration and turns a blind eye to weapons sent to the eastern-based forces.
In Ankara, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that Irini was “flawed from the onset.”
“It is not based on firm international legal foundations,” Akar said. He renewed Turkey’s criticism of the German ship’s actions.
“The incident was against international laws and practices. It was wrong,” he said.
Kramp-Karrenbauer stressed that “Turkey is still an important partner for us in NATO.” Turkey being outside the military alliance would make the situation even more difficult, she argued, and Turkish soldiers are “absolutely reliable partners” in NATO missions.
But she conceded that Turkey poses “a big challenge” because of how its domestic politics have developed and because it has its “own agenda, which is difficult to reconcile with European questions in particular.”