UAE and Bahrain officially ink ties with Israel

Jewish News Syndicate

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed historic agreements at the White House on Tuesday, Sept. 15, to normalize relations with Israel, the first of their kind in 26 years.

In front of a crowd of about 200 people on the South Lawn, the UAE signed a normalization accord that was verbally agreed upon on Aug. 13, while Bahrain signed a similar agreement with the Jewish state, the status of which was announced on Sept. 11.

Additionally, all three countries and the United States signed a document affirming the “Abraham Accords.”

These were the first normalization deals between Israel and other Mideast nations since Israel’s peace deal with Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994. The UAE and Bahrain are the first Gulf countries to normalize ties with the Jewish state.

The UAE and Bahrain were represented at the ceremony by their foreign ministers, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani. The Israeli delegation was led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We’re here to change the course of history,” said Trump, speaking from the first-floor balcony of the White House overlooking the South Lawn. “These agreements prove that the nations of the region are breaking free from the failed approaches of the past.”

Netanyahu called the occasion a “pivot of history” and “new dawn of peace.”

“To all of Israel’s friends in the Middle East, those who are with us today and those who will join us tomorrow, I say, As-salamu alaykum. ‘Peace unto thee.’ Shalom.”

“And you have heard from the president that he is already lining up more and more countries,” added Netanyahu. “This is unimaginable a few years ago. But with resolve, determination [and] a fresh look at the way peace is done, this is being achieved.”

In Arabic, Nahyan declared that “we are witnessing a change in the heart of the Middle East, a change that will send hope around the world.”

Under the Israel-UAE deal, the two countries agreed to sign bilateral agreements on security, tourism, direct flights, investment, telecommunications, technology, health care, reciprocal embassies, culture, energy and the environment.

They also agreed to increase and fasten cooperation in developing a vaccine for COVID-19.

Under the deal, however, Israel agreed to suspend applying sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria—a part of the deal Nahyan touted in his remarks in that it would allow Abu Dhabi to “continue to stand by the Palestinians.”

The Israel-Bahrain agreement states that the two nations “agreed to establish full diplomatic relations, to promote lasting security, to eschew threats and the use of force, as well as advance coexistence and a culture of peace,” in addition to agreeing to seek “agreements in the coming weeks regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment and other areas of mutual benefit, as well as reaching agreement on the reciprocal opening of embassies.”