President Donald Trump has declared victory after securing a major international deal that he says marks “the dawn of a new Middle East.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Trump’s remarks came Tuesday as he oversaw the signing of what has become known as the Abraham Accords, a deal comprising agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain that seek to normalize economic relations and promote peace in the region.
It’s “the first time in more than 25 years that Arab nations have signed agreements with Israel,” the Examiner reported, and “[h]undreds of diplomats, lawmakers, and officials gathered on the South Lawn of the White House” to get a glimpse at the historic moment.
Changing the course of history
According to the Examiner, Trump was joined Tuesday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al Zayani, and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, President Trump thanked the “visionary leaders” whose signatures he said will “change the course of history.”
“After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” Trump said, according to the Examiner. “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.”
The president also noted how rare “peace deals between Israel and the Arab state” have been, but hinted that there may be more where these came from. “In Israel’s entire history, there have previously been only two such agreements. Now we have achieved two in a single month, and there are more to follow,” Trump said, according to a White House transcript.
He went on: “Together, these agreements will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region — something which nobody thought was possible, certainly not in this day and age; maybe in many decades from now — but one founded on shared interests, mutual respect, and friendship.”
“Cooperation over conflict”
Of course, the president’s critics did their best to downplay the significance of the Abraham Accords, with some suggesting the deal means little without the support of neighboring Saudi Arabia. But at least in Trump’s eyes, this is a massive step forward that should set an example for the rest of the world.
“Today, the world sees that they’re choosing cooperation over conflict, friendship over enmity, prosperity over poverty, and hope over despair,” the president said Tuesday. “They are choosing a future in which Arabs and Israelis, Muslims, Jews, and Christians can live together, pray together, and dream together, side by side, in harmony, community, and peace.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2020