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Israel, UAE, Bahrain ink normalization deals

16 Sep 2020 - 11:20
16 Sep 2020 - 11:20

 

KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain signed agreements to normalize relations with Israel in the United States on Tuesday.

At the US-brokered event, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani.

“The people of the Middle East will no longer allow hatred of Israel to be fomented as an excuse for radicalism or extremism,” US President Donald Trump said at the White House ceremony.

The deals make them the third and fourth Arab states to take such steps to normalise ties since Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas condemned the agreement, saying stability in the region was possible if Israel left the lands of Palestinians.

Bringing Israel, the UAE and Bahrain together reflects their shared concern about Iran’s rising influence in the region and development of ballistic missiles. Iran has been critical of both deals.

With Trump up for re-election on November 3, the accords could help shore up support among pro-Israel Christian evangelical voters, an important part of his political base.

Another target is Oman, whose leader spoke with Trump last week. Oman was expected to send its ambassador to Tuesday’s ceremony, a senior US official said.

There was no word on whether the Saudis would attend, though their quiet acquiescence to the agreements has been seen as crucial.

sa/ma

 

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