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Trump to host signing ceremony for Israel’s historic deal with UAE, Bahrain

PTI, Sep 15, 2020, 11:19 AM IST

Washington: The White House will host a signing ceremony on Tuesday for Israel to establish diplomatic relationships with two important Islamic countries in the Middle East – the UAE and Bahrain, marking a notable diplomatic achievement for US President Donald Trump in an election year.

Representatives from the UAE and Bahrain will sign the historic agreement with Israel in the presence of President Trump at the White House.

President Trump helped broker a historic agreement between the UAE and Israel to normalise relations in August. Last week, Trump announced that Bahrain had also reached a deal with Israel to normalise relations.

The event, the president says, would usher in a new era towards peace in the region.

“So, the Emiratis and the Israelis will be signing their own document, as will the Bahrainis and the Israelis will be signing their own document. Then there’s also going to be, sort of, something that everybody is signing,” a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call on the eve of the historic agreements, in which President’s advisor and son-in-law Jarred Kushner has played a key role.

Both the deals were announced by Trump himself after he hosted the phone calls with their respective leaders. The Israel-UAE deal was announced on August 13 and the Israel-Bahrain deal was announced last week.

According to the senior administration official, the UAE’s Crown Prince’s brother and foreign minister of the country is going to be in attendance. Bahrain would be represented by its foreign minister as well.

The agreement has been dubbed as the “Abraham Accord.”

“There’s going to be, sort of, the Abraham Accord that is going to be signed. And then the bilateral with the US as witness or observer being signed,” the US official said on conditions of anonymity.

A few hundred people are expected to attend the signing ceremony at the White House. In an interview to Fox News, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that it is a remarkable accomplishment.

“The administration of President Trump has set the conditions for peace in the Middle East. There’s real progress. Tomorrow we’ll have the Israelis, the Bahrainis, the Emiratis all in Washington to sign agreements normalising relationships amongst the countries. It’s a great day,” the top American diplomat said.

“I remember (former) Secretary (of State, John) Kerry saying that if the nuclear was abandoned, that Israel would become more isolated, when in fact just the opposite has now happened,” he said.

“They’ve joined hands and now they have many more partners across the region. Each of those countries, those Gulf states recognise that the shared threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran is very, very real, and now they are working together, building out security and economic relationships and real ties between these countries. It’ll be truly stabilising for the Middle East to see what happens tomorrow in Washington, DC. I’m proud of what President Trump and his team have accomplished,” Pompeo said.

The deal between the UAE and Israel represented a significant breakthrough in diplomatic relations between the two nations as the Trump administration works to facilitate cooperation between Arab nations and Israel.

Trump, seeking re-election in the November 3 presidential election against his Democratic Party rival, Joe Biden, is hoping that the two major diplomatic deals would help him in the polls.

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