resident Donald Trump on Tuesday hailed the ‘dawn of a new Middle East’ when he presided over the signing of historic diplomatic deals between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in a deal designed to boost his reputation as a statesman.
‘We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict we mark up the dawn of a new Middle East. Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries. We take a major stride toward a future in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity,’ Trump said in his remarks.
The president said more nations will follow suit in signing the accord that normalizes relations between the Jewish state and the Arab nations.
‘These agreements prove that the nations of the region are breaking free from the failed approaches of the past. Today signing sets history on a new course. And there will be other countries very very soon, that will follow these great leaders,’ the president said.
Trump emphasized the historic nature of the agreement.
‘Today the world sees that they’re choosing cooperation over conflict. Friendship over emnity, prosperity over poverty, and hope over despair. They are choosing a future in which Arabs and Israelis Muslims, Jews and Christians could live together pray together, and dream together side by side in harmony community and peace,’ he said.
Earlier he described it as: ‘This is peace in the Middle East without blood all over the sand.’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreement will bring economic benefits to the region and it could end the Arab-Israeli conflict.
‘The blessings of the peace we make today will be enormous. First, because this peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states. And ultimately, it can end the Arab-Israeli conflict, once and for all,’ he said.
‘Second, because the great economic benefits of our partnership will be felt throughout our region. And they will reach every one of our citizens. And third, because this is not only a peace between leaders. It’s a peace between people,’ he added.
United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said the deal was a sign of the change of heart taking place in the Middle East.
‘We are already witnessing a change in the heart of the Middle East, a change that will send hope, around the world,’ he said.
Each of the four leaders signed four copies of the Abraham Accords – one in English, one in Hebrew and two in Arabic.
The leaders also signed a a treaty of peace, diplomatic relations and full normalization and a declaration of peace – three copies of each were signed, one in English, one in Arabic and one in Hebrew.
During the signing, the leaders helped one another find the proper place on the document to ink their name.
The signing took place on the Lee Dining Room Table from Blair House. President Trump held weekly luncheon meetings with his cabinet at this dining room table. The table has also served new and former First Families when they stay at Blair House for inaugurations and state funerals.
Ahead of the ceremony President Trump held separate meetings in the Oval Office with Netanyahu and bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
‘Being the first was very important that you be the first for us because you are leading a path, leading a way, it is something people were very surprised,’ Trump told bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
In their sit down, Trump gave Netanyahu a golden key to the White House as a token of his appreciation.
‘This was a special token of affection given by myself and the first lady to prime minister and the first lady of Israel and it’s a key. We call it a key to the White House. It is a key to our country and to our hearts,’ Trump told him.
‘You have a key to the hearts of the Jewish people,’ Netanyahu told the president in response.
The president said more Gulf nations were preparing to sign similar deals to the one being inked on the South Lawn Tuesday – but he didn’t offer hints as to which ones those may be.
‘We’re very far down the road with 5 additional countries,’ he said.
Tuesday’s deal could herald a dramatic shift in Middle East power dynamics and give him a boost ahead of the November election.
And Trump, showing off his presidential statesmanship, hosted more than 200 guests Tuesday on the South Lawn to witness the sealing of the agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Row after row of white chairs were on the South Lawn Tuesday morning, lined up together with no social distancing in between them. Few in the crowd wore face masks
The White House said masks will be encouraged at the event.
‘The e-mail that went out for all invitees was an encouragement to wear a mask,’ a senior administration official said on a call with reporters Monday. ‘We’re not going to require anybody to do so. But, you know, the Israelis and the Emiratis and Bahrainis are all taking it seriously.”
Masks are not required, however.
‘But, ultimately, it’s not going to be required and it will be on the South Lawn, which is obviously a pretty vast space. We’re expecting, though, a few hundred people, but it is our intention to keep it as distanced as possible, understanding the constraints and the time. So, yeah, we’re going to encourage people to wear masks, but ultimately it’s their choice,’ the official said.
The president has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his administration’s work on the deal.
‘Today I’m doing a great deal with Israel. Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain. Everyone said it was impossible,’ Trump said Tuesday morning on ‘Fox & Friends.’
‘No matter what you do with some of the fake news, doesn’t make any difference. This one is great. This one’s sort of interesting. And I don’t say this in a braggadocios way, but I get nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice last week on two different deals. The other was Kosovo, Serbia. But I get nominated for that and this — in this case Israel, it wasn’t even on the nightly news,’ he said.
Trump and his allies hope the signing ceremony will burnish the president’s credentials as a peacemaker at the height of his reelection campaign.
‘A lot of people said when President Trump was elected that he’d be bringing war and chaos. But what he’s bringing today is peace. And, you know, thanks to the efforts here, President Trump has been nominated now for two Nobel peace prizes for his efforts, and we’re seeing these countries come together,’ Trump´s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who led the negotiations said, Tuesday morning on NBC’s ‘Today Show.’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Emirati and Bahraini foreign ministers signed the deals before the crowd, which included representatives of supporting nations from the Washington-based diplomatic corps but few other dignitaries from ove….