Minister predicts 5th country will recognize Israel before Trump leaves office

Regional Affairs Minister Ofir Akunis predicts another country could normalize ties with Israel before US President Donald Trump leaves office in a month.

“We’re working on it, I believe it will happen before January 21,” Akunis tells the Ynet news site. “There will be an American statement on another country announcing… the normalization of ties with Israel and in essence the basis of peace treaty. What are the candidates? I won’t say, because we have an arrangement with the Americans that they release the statement, but it will be an interesting country.”

Reports have suggested Indonesia or Oman could be the next country to recognize Israel.  A top Trump administration official said Tuesday that Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, could receive up to $2 billion in US development aid if it recognizes Israel.

Minister of Regional Cooperation Ofir Akunis at the Knesset in Jerusalem on August 24, 2020 (Oren Ben Hakoon/POOL)