Israel inking historic accords with UAE, Bahrain at White House ceremony

Categories: US-Israel Relationship

09/15/2020

Israel is inking historic diplomatic deals with two Arab nations at the White House Tuesday, its first in over a quarter century, which could herald a dramatic shift in Middle East power dynamics.

At 7 p.m. Israel time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to sign normalization accords with the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain before hundreds on the White House South Lawn, only the third and fourth peace accords with Arab nations in Israel’s 72-year history.

The normalization of relations with the UAE and Bahrain follow Israel’s treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

In a ceremony aimed at showcasing presidential statesmanship, US President Donald Trump will host more than 700 guests Tuesday on the South Lawn to witness the sealing of the agreements. Trump and his allies hope the occasion will burnish Trump’s credentials as a peacemaker at the height of his reelection campaign.

The crowd will include representatives of supporting nations from the Washington-based diplomatic corps but few other dignitaries from overseas.

Omani Ambassador to the US Hunaina al-Mughairy will be among those attending, a spokesman for the embassy confirmed to The Times of Israel. Oman has been touted as another Gulf nation that could be on the verge of normalizing relations with the Jewish state.

Some congressional Democrats who have offered muted praise have also been invited to attend.

Three documents will be signed at the ceremony: In addition to the individual bilateral agreements signed by Israel with the UAE and Bahrain, all three will sign a trilateral document, officials said. The agreements are dubbed the “Abraham Accords” after the patriarch of the world’s three major monotheistic religions. Trump is expected to sign as a witness.

Read More: Times of Israel