President Trump will preside over the signing of two historic agreements between Israel and two Gulf nations at the White House on Tuesday, a ceremony that will polish Trump’s foreign policy credentials as he seeks re-election.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will sign agreements for the normalization of relations with both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The deal with the UAE was announced last month, with the deal with Bahrain announced on Friday. The ceremony on the South Lawn is expected to be attended by around 700 guests.
TRUMP ANNOUNCES A DEAL BETWEEN BAHRAIN AND ISRAEL TO NORMALIZE RELATIONS IN PUSH FOR MIDEAST PACE
In addition to bilateral agreements, all three are expected to sign a trilateral document. Together they are dubbed the “Abraham Accords”
The agreements see the normalization of relations on everything from air travel to the establishment of embassies and security, and it is hoped that it will introduce more such agreements, possibly with Omar, Sudan, Morocco and others.
While the deals are hoped to usher in a new era in the region, where Israel has long been a pariah, it also comes less than two months before the US presidential election and gives Trump a clear victory on the foreign policy front.
The deals, along with an economic deal between Serbia and Kosovo, fueled discussion about Trump’s opportunity to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, with the president receiving two nominations for the prestigious award.
While critics have noted that such agreements ignore the Palestinians and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hopefully the agreements are the start of warmer Arab-Israeli relations.
QANTA AHMED: AS A MUSLIM, THANKS TRUMP FOR THE INTERMISSION OF THE ISRAEL-UAE-BAHRAIN AGREEMENTS AND I EXPECT MORE TO COME
In a call with reporters on Friday, White House adviser Jared Kushner said it took Israel 72 years to form its first two peace deals, and there have been two more in the past 29 days, describing it as a sign that the region is changing. .
“We are seeing the beginning of a new Middle East and the president has really secured alliances and partners in an effort to pursue it,” he said.
Iran, meanwhile, has become angry at both agreements, calling them “dangerous” and “shameful”.
“. @ RealDonaldTrump was in desperate need of a photo for the campaign. His son-in-law blackmailed their regional clients to get them one, “Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted.” The only problem: the signed “peace accords” are NOT between enemies but long-standing allies. What a diplomatic blow! “
Meanwhile, in Israel, where the deals have received widespread acclaim, there are fears that the deals could lead to US arms sales to the UAE and Bahrain, upsetting Israel’s qualitative military advantage in the region.
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Trump on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning brushed off those concerns, saying he “wouldn’t have a problem” with the UAE buying fighter jets.
“I would have no problem selling the F-35 to them … I see it as an asset, not a liability,” he said, while stressing that it would help jobs in the United States.
He also said that other countries “want to enter” and that he believes the Palestinians will eventually enter.
“You will have peace in the Middle East,” Trump said.
Fox News Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.