UAE, Bahrain sign deals to normalise ties with Israel

Israel normalised relations with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at a White House ceremony yesterday as President Donald Trump said similar US-brokered deals were close between the Jewish state and “five or six” other nations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of Bahrain and the UAE sealed the historic agreements with a signing ceremony on a flag-decorated White House lawn.
Bahrain and the UAE are the first Arab nations to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 and Trump, who is hoping the deals will boost his re-election hopes, hailed it as a “historic day for peace in the Middle East.”
“After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” Trump said. “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history.”
He said the agreements “will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region” and “there will be other countries, very, very soon.”
Speaking to reporters before the ceremony, Trump said “we’ll have at least five or six countries coming along very quickly.”
Netanyahu called the day a “pivot of history.” “It heralds a new dawn of peace,” he said. “Ultimately it can end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all.”
In remarks directed at Netanyahu, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said: “I stand here today to extend a hand of peace and receive a hand of peace.”
“Thank you for choosing peace and halting the annexation of Palestinian territories,” he said in one of the rare references to the Palestinians during the event.
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