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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.

Wisconsin recount reaffirms Biden's victory in the state

Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images

The two recounts in Wisconsin requested by the Trump campaign were completed Sunday and confirmed that President-elect Joe Biden won the state, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes. Recounts in the state's most populous and liberal areas — Dane and Milwaukee counties — netted him an additional 87 votes.

16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional Hispanics want Lujan Grisham at HHS

Michelle Lujan Grisham arriving on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Hispanic lawmakers are openly lobbying to have New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham be named Health and Human Services secretary, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: These members are now following the example some Black lawmakers have used for weeks: trying to convince Joe Biden his political interests will be served by rewarding certain demographic groups with Cabinet picks.

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