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UAE, Bahrain, Israel normalize ties at historic White House event

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and Israel have officially normalized relations on Tuesday  at a signing ceremony at the White House.

US President Donald Trump hosted the White House ceremony.The agreements “will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region,” said US President Donald Trump in an opening speech at the event.

The Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu signed treaties with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani.

The three officials, as well as Trump, signed the Abraham Accords.

The agreements make them the third and fourth Arab states to normalize relations with Israel. Israel signed peace agreements with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Al Nahyan thanked Netanyahu for “choosing peace” and halting the annexation of Palestinian territories during his remarks.

In exchange for the normalization of diplomatic ties with the UAE, Israel has ceased its plans to annex Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory in August.

Bahrain Foreign Minister Al Zayani said his country’s agreement with Israel is a significant first step towards peace.

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“It is now incumbent on us to work urgently and actively to bring about the lasting peace and security our peoples deserve,” he said.

“A just, comprehensive, and enduring two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be the foundation, the bedrock of such peace,” he added.

Trump, while addressing the ceremony said that five or six more countries are “very far down the road” on the way to normalizing ties with Israel.

UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba said the ceremony “reflects a big win for diplomacy.”

“The possibilities, the stability, the prosperity that is going to be unleashed because of what we signed today is going to be good for our three countries and it’s going to be good for the region,” said Al Otaiba in a video posted by the UAE Embassy to the US.

“Young people in the UAE and young people in Israel are going to be able to meet with each other, and talk with each other, and learn from each other,” he said.

“This is exactly what peace allows. It allows people to understand each other and make a difference,” added Al Otaiba.

Earlier on August 13, UAE first announced the plans for normalization with Israel. Later, Bahrain followed on September 11.

Samra Mazhar

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