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Trump hosts Israel, UAE and Bahrain in Abraham Accords signing ceremony at the White House

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President Trump hosted the historic signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain at the White House yesterday, a peace agreement that was considered impossible even three years ago.

“We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” Trump said in a speech delivered from a White House balcony, addressing a roughly 200-person crowd of domestic and foreign officials gathered on the South Lawn, according to Politico.

The signing ceremony was attended by President Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain

The Jerusalem Post called the agreement “a significant achievement” in Trump’s Middle East foreign policy, noting that if other peace agreements come from this strong beginning, they could add up to “a geopolitical game changer for the Middle East for many years to come.”

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

“We are witnessing today a new trend that will create a better path for the Middle East,” said UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullah bin Zayed through an interpreter according to the Voice of America. He added that the declaration “is not a slogan that we raise for political gains” and that “peace is our guiding principle.”

Trump promised that five other nations will soon join the peace accord with Israel.

Two parties that have lost the most from the agreement are the Palestinians and the Iranians.  

The need for economic modernization in the Middle East is outweighing the decades-long support by the Arab countries for a Palestinian state. While the signatories say they remain committed to a plan for Palestinian peace, countries are more concerned with reining in an Iran that was handed outsized regional influence by the Obama administration.  

Jerusalem Post noted that the peace accords counter Iranian influence in the region, and will make it difficult for Joe Biden to turn the Middle East back to Iran even if he wins.

“First and foremost, it helps counter the Iranian influence in the region and creates a public front of countries that opposed the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran,” said the Israeli newspaper, “ensuring that even if Joe Biden were to win the election, it would be harder for him to reenter the same deal that the Obama administration has signed. In 2015, Israel and the Gulf states were against the deal, but they could not share their concerns jointly – at least not in public.”

President Trump, however, said that there is room for Iran at the peace table too, if the mullahs there truly wish for peace.

“Iran is suffering, I don’t want them to suffer, but their economy has tanked, and I think they want to make a deal, and I will make a very fair deal,” the President said.

PHOTO: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

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