Marking the “dawn of a new Middle East”, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed signed historic and groundbreaking normalization agreements on Tuesday.
“This is an incredible day for the world,” said US President Donald Trump, a host, and added that “the Abraham Accords – as he has called them – open the door for Muslim, Jews and Christians “to live together, pray together and dream together.”
Muslims from around the world would be to visit the holy sites in Israel, including the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, President Trump stressed.
Speaking at the event, PM Netanyahu, UAE FM Zayed and Bahrain FM Alzayani this historic deal “creates a new path and brings peace in the Middle East.”
He added that the Jewish state made peace with two Arab countries in 72 years and an additional two in two months.
The two Gulf States become the third and fourth countries in the Middle East to recognize Israel and establish formal diplomatic relations with the Jewish State since Egypt did so in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, drastically re-drawing the political map in the region.
Palestinian leaders have reacted furiously to the deals. Ammar Hijazi, assistant minister of multilateral affairs for the Palestinian Authority, said the signing of the accords was “a sad day”.
But Trump predicted that the Palestinians would eventually join in normalizing relations with Israel, or else will be “left out in the cold.”
Also, diplomatic sources have hinted that the Sultanate of Oman could be the next country likely to sign an agreement with Israel.
Sources added, bringing Israel, UAE and Bahrain together may be their shared concern about Iran’s rising influence in the region and development of ballistic missiles.
Iran has been critical of both deals whereas another powerful Gulf state Qatar has rules out normalizing ties with Israel until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.
President Trump is poised to win an unlikely diplomatic coup by bringing the UAE and Bahrain into normalized diplomatic relations with Israel after Palestinians rejected the Trump administration’s proposed peace deal.
Also, with Trump up for re-election on November 3, the accords could help shore up support among pro-Israel Christian evangelical voters in the US, an important part of his political base.
(With inputs of agencies’ report)