UAE, Bahrain historic peace deals with Israel at White House

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain become the third and fourth Arab states to ever sign a peace accord with the Jewish state.

Updated: September 15, 2020 - 4:19pm

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The leaders of Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday signed a historic peace agreement at the White House.

President Trump declared at the South Lawn event “the dawn of a new Middle East” and expressed hope that the pact will lead to a new order in the Mideast.

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President Trump hosted a White House ceremony Tuesday for the signing of the historic peace deals between Israel and the two Gulf Arab nations of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

The ceremony, a series of events, began in the morning and included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Emirati and Bahraini foreign ministers.

About 700 people were invited to the South Lawn ceremony, in which the president showcased his international diplomacy, with the presidential election now just weeks away.

Trump says the agreement will result in other nations in the region signing similar deals and result in more permanent Middle East peace.

"Everyone said this couldn't happen," Trump said Tuesday morning on the Fox News Channel. "We have many others that will be coming in over a short period of time."

At the ceremony, Trump began by giving his welcoming remarks and expressing his satisfaction for the peace deal. “It’s a very important day for the world, it’s a very important day for peace," he said. "The people of the Middle East will no longer allow hatred of Israel to be fomented as an excuse for radicalism or extremism, so important, and they’ll no longer allow the great destiny of their region to be denied.

All three gave a speech at the White House ceremony. "This day is a pivot of history. It heralds a new dawn of peace. For thousands of years, the Jewish people have prayed for peace. For decades, the Jewish state has prayed for peace. And this is why today we’re filled with such profound gratitude," Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said.

In addition to the individual bilateral agreements signed by Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, all three signed a trilateral document.

The agreements won't end wars but will formalize the normalization of the Jewish state's improving relations with the two countries. 

“For too long, the Middle East has been set back by conflict and mistrust causing untold destruction," the Bahraini Foreign Minister said. "Ladies and gentlemen, today’s agreement 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 peoples deserve."

Critics of the deals say they ignore the Palestinians, who have rejected them as a betrayal to fellow Arabs.

Trump also suggested Tuesday that the Palestinians would join in the effort.

Others invited to the White House ceremony include representatives of supporting nations from the Washington-based diplomatic corps and some congressional Democrats, the wire service also reports.

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