President Trump presides over the signing of two historic agreements between Israel and two Gulf nations in the White House on Tuesday – a ceremony that will burn Trump’s foreign policy credentials as he seeks re-election.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will sign agreements marking the normalization of relations with both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The UAE agreement was announced last month, with the Bahrain agreement announced on Friday. The ceremony at South Lawn is expected to see about 700 guests in attendance.
TRUMP ANNOUNCEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN BAHRAIN, ISRAEL FOR NORMALIZATION OF MIDDLE PEACE PRESSURE
In addition to the bilateral agreements, all three are expected to sign a trilateral document. Together, they are called 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 initiate further such offers – possibly with Omar, Sudan, Morocco and others.
While it is hoped that the agreements will herald the new era in the region where Israel has long been a pariah, it also comes less than two months before the US presidential election, giving Trump a clear victory on the foreign policy front.
The agreements, together with an economic agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, have given rise to discussion about whether Trump should receive the Nobel Peace Prize – where the president received two nominations for the prestigious award.
While critics have noted that such agreements ignore Palestinians and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is hoped that the agreements would be the start of warmer Arab-Israeli relations.
QANTA AHMED: AS A MUSLIM, I THANK TRUMP FOR MILKING ISRAEL-UAE-BAHRAIN AGREEMENTS AND EXPECT MORE TO COME
In a call with journalists on Friday, White House adviser Jared Kushner said that it took Israel 72 years to conclude its first two peace agreements, and that there have been two more in the last 29 days – and describes it as a sign that that the region is changing.
“We are seeing the start of a new Middle East, and the President has really secured alliances and partners in their efforts to pursue it,” he said.
Iran, meanwhile, has jerked off both offers, calling them “dangerous” and “shameful.”
“. @RealDonaldTrump desperately needed a campaign photo. His son-in-law blackmailed their regional clients into giving him one, “tweeted Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. The only problem: ‘Peace agreements’ that are signed are NOT between enemies, but longtime allies. What a diplomatic coup! ”
Meanwhile, in Israel, where the agreements have received widespread recognition, there are concerns that the agreements could lead to US arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, disrupting Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region.
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Trump on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning removed those concerns, saying he would have “no problem” with the United Arab Emirates buying fighter jets.
“I would have no problem selling them the F-35 … I see it as an asset, not a commitment,” he said, noting that it would help jobs back in the United States.
He also said that other countries “want to enter” and that he believes that the Palestinians will eventually enter as well.
“You will have peace in the Middle East,” Trump said.
Fox News Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.