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Jared Kushner. Photo: Getty Images

President Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House envoy Avi Berkowitz are expected to travel to the Middle East and visit Israel along with several Gulf states during the first week of September to check on the U.S.-brokered normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Israeli and Arab officials tell me.

The state of play: Kushner and his delegation are expected to congratulate leadership in Israel and the UAE on the normalization deal and get updates on progress of the talks between the countries regarding possible agreements they may want to sign.

  • Kushner will also use his talks with leaders in the region to encourage more Arab countries to follow in the UAE's footsteps and move forward with full normalization of relations with Israel, officials briefed on the planned visit tell me. 

National security adviser Robert O'Brien and the State Department's special envoy for Iran Brian Hook are also expected to join Kushner on the trip.

  • Other than a visit to Jerusalem, Kushner and Berkowitz will visit the UAE. The U.S. delegation is likely to visit Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman as well.

What they're saying: President Trump said several days ago that he hopes Saudi Arabia will also move toward normalization with Israel. U.S. officials think it might be possible for Bahrain and Oman to take such steps in the weeks and months ahead.

  • The White House declined to comment.

What's next: Trump wants to a have a signing ceremony at the Rose Garden in September for the Israel-UAE deal with leaders from both countries.

Even if other Gulf states don't announce normalization with Israel until then, the White House may invite representatives from other Arab states to attend the ceremony and show their support for the deal.

Israeli and Arab officials tell me the drafting of agreements in different fields between Israel and the UAE will take more time.

  • Both countries have put together interagency teams to start the internal work of preparing a range of agreements. Israeli officials believe a meeting between the teams will not take place before the first week of September.

Go deeper

Nov 25, 2020 - World

Palestinians prepare charm offensive for Biden

Abbas and Biden in Ramallah in 2010. Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Palestinian leaders are considering several initiatives that they hope will encourage strong relations with the incoming administration and make it easier for Biden to roll back Trump's policies.

Why it matters: After four years of deep crisis in U.S.-Palestinian relations, President Mahmoud Abbas desperately needs to rebuild his standing in Washington.

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Katie Ledecky in Tokyo. Photo: Ding Xu/Xinhua via Getty Images

🚨: Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars

🏊‍♀️: Katie Ledecky wins gold in women's 800m freestyle

🏊: Caeleb Dressel breaks world record in men's 100m butterfly, 3rd gold

🇬🇧: Britain wins gold in first-ever Olympic mixed 4x100m medley relay

🎾: Novak Djokovic defeated in Olympic semi-finals

💻: Japan tests teleporting games and "remote cheering"

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Updated 5 hours ago - Sports

Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars Olympic finals

Photo: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Simone Biles will not compete in the individual vault or uneven bars finals at the Tokyo Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced Friday.

Why it matters: USA Gymnastics said Biles, who previously withdrew from the individual all-around and team finals to prioritize her mental health, will continue to be evaluated to determine if she'll compete in the balance beam or floor exercise events.

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