Israel Signs Pacts With UAE, Bahrain at White House Ceremony

President Donald Trump, center, with, from left, Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan during the Abraham Accords signing ceremony at the White House on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(CN) — The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain formally normalized relations with Israel on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday, with President Donald Trump overseeing the signing of the pacts.

Framing himself as a peacemaker ahead of the November presidential election, Trump said the agreements mark “the dawn of a new Middle East” and will “change the course of history,” noting the Persian Gulf region’s tumultuous past. 

Tuesday’s bilateral agreements mark the official recognition of Israel by the two Arab nations. All three counties are aligned against Iran and its aggression in the region. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the day “a pivot of history, a new dawn of peace,” as he praised Trump for hosting the ceremony during his own remarks.  

“This peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states and, ultimately, it can end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all,” Netanyahu said.

The agreements, called the Abraham Accords in honor of Abrahamic religions practiced in the area, do not formally address the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and are not expected to end any active armed conflicts.  

Rather, Trump said during his speech on Tuesday, “Together these agreements will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region, something which nobody thought was possible, certainly not in this day and age.” 

Bahrain and the UAE, like many Arab nations in the Gulf, largely support Palestinians when it comes to the conflict with Israel. 

Vying for independent stability of their nations and the support of the pro-Israel Trump administration, the two nations agreed not to let this tension stop them from joining forces with the Jewish state on Tuesday.  

After years of touting his abandonment of the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he advised officials in Tehran not to propose a new agreement with the U.S. until after the November election.

Trump added during his brokering of the Israel agreements that they “prove that the nations of the region are breaking free from failed approaches of the past.”

“Today’s signing sets history on a new course and there will be other countries very, very soon that will follow these great leaders,” the president a crowd of about 200 people.

“Thank you for choosing peace and for halting the annexation of Palestinian territories, a position that reinforces our shared will to achieve better future for generations to come,” UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan told Netanyahu at the White House following the signing. 

The Emirati minister, who is the brother of the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, was referring to Israel’s agreement to suspend annexation of parts of the West Bank. However, it is not known how long this suspension will last. 

Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister, said his country’s pact with Israel “is an important first step and it is now incumbent on us to work urgently and actively to bring about the lasting peace and security our people deserve.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump presented Netanyahu with a golden “key to the White House.” He said during those remarks from the Oval Office that U.S. officials are close to arranging similar agreements with “at least five or six countries” in the Middle East that also could normalize relations with Israel.

“Many of them and they’re going to be coming along,” Trump said, adding that some deals could happen “before the election perhaps, but a lot of them after.”

%d bloggers like this: