The US president urged the Saudi Arabian king to start negotiations with other Gulf countries to “resolve the rift”. 

“President [Donald] Trump praised Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency and welcomed the opening of Saudi air space to flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, beginning with last week’s historic commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said on Twitter late Sunday.

Deere said Trump, in a phone call to King Salman bin Abdulaziz, underlined the significance of the Abraham Accord between Israel and the UAE and discussed ways to enhance regional security and prosperity.

Trump also hailed the “strong partnership” between the US and Saudi Arabia and thanked King Salman for his leadership.

He had announced a deal last month between Israel and the UAE to normalize relations.

The UAE is the first Gulf state and third Arab nation to have full diplomatic relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.

Despite reports that the deal halted Israel’s controversial plan to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed his government’s continued commitment to go ahead with annexation plans.

Palestinian groups denounced the deal, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of the Palestinians.

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