Israel, United Arab Emirates & Bahrain Sign Historic Peace Agreement at the White House
How do you feel about the peace agreement between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain?
by Causes | 9.15.20
What’s the story?
- President Donald Trump hosted representatives from Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain at the White House on Tuesday for the formal signing of a historic peace agreement between the three Middle Eastern nations. Trump was joined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bahrain Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, and UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyanisigns.
- The Abraham Accords Peace Agreement is named in honor of the figure who Christians, Jews, and Muslims regard as a father of their faiths because he symbolizes the potential for unity. Under the Accord, Israel will have fully normalized diplomatic relations with the UAE and Bahrain, which were previously non-existent, in addition to economic, security, and travel agreements.
- The four leaders delivered remarks and signed a joint declaration on the occasion, which read in part:
“We, the undersigned, recognize the importance of maintaining and strengthening peace in the Middle East and around the world based on mutual understanding and coexistence, as well as respect for human dignity and freedom, including religious freedom. We encourage efforts to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue to advance a culture of peace among the three Abrahamic religions and all humanity. We believe that the best way to address challenges is through cooperation and dialogue and that developing friendly relations among States advances the interests of lasting peace in the Middle East and around the world. We seek tolerance and respect for every person in order to make this world a place where all can enjoy a life of dignity and hope, no matter their race, faith or ethnicity.”
What does the peace deal mean for the Middle East?
- The peace deal makes the UAE and Bahrain the only Arab states on the Persian Gulf to have full diplomatic relations with Israel, and fourth and fifth Muslim majority nation in the Middle East to do so, joining Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan. The Abraham Accord is the third major peace agreement between Israel and one (or more) of its Arab neighbors, and the U.S. has played a key role in brokering each.
- Egypt became the first Arab state to recognize Israel when they reached the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, which was witnessed by President Jimmy Carter and signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1979 after the Camp David Accords were agreed to the prior year by the three leaders.
- Jordan became the second Arab state to enter into a peace deal with Israel with the signing of the Washington Declaration. The treaty was facilitated by President Bill Clinton and signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan in 1994.
- Israel and the UAE first announced the Abraham Accord had been brokered with the assistance of the U.S. in August 2020, and Bahrain announced in September 2020 that it would join the Accord. That momentum may lead to other Muslim nations from the Middle East and beyond may joining the Accord and normalizing their relations with Israel, with speculation that Oman or Saudi Arabia may be next. It could also bring broader stability to the region, as all three Abraham Accord nations are close U.S. allies and share an interest in countering Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
- However, events that occurred during the White House event showed that there is much more work to be done to bring peace to the Middle East. Hamas, a Palestinian group which controls Gaza and has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union, broke a weeks-long ceasefire with Israel by launching rockets at populated areas of southern Israel, injuring 13.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: The White House via Flickr / Public Domain)
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