President Trump presided over U.S.-brokered normalization agreements between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates at the White House on Tuesday, cementing formal diplomatic ties between the countries through deals with few public details.
Why it matters: "The last Arab state to make peace with Israel was Jordan, in 1994. Egypt was the first, in 1979. The agreement is also significant for relegating the Palestinians to the sidelines," WashPost reports.
What they're saying: “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history,” Trump said on the White House South Lawn. “After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East."
- Netanyahu: "Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. President, this day is a pivot of history. It heralds a new dawn of peace. For thousands of years, the Jewish people have prayed for peace. For decades, the Jewish state has prayed for peace. ... To all of Israel's friends in the Middle East, those who are with us today and those who will join us tomorrow, I say, Salaam aleichem. Peace unto thee. Shalom!"
- UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, thank you for choosing peace and for halting annexation of Palestinian territories. That position reinforces our shared goal to achieve better future for generations to come."
- Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al Zayani: "The declaration supporting peace between the kingdom of Bahrain and the state of Israel is an historic step on the road to genuine and lasting peace, security and prosperity across the region and for all who live there regardless of religion, sect, ethnicity or ideology."
Between the lines: There were three documents signed today, reflecting the multiple parties in the room, reports Barak Ravid.
- The “Abraham accords declaration” was signed by Trump, Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain. It focuses on the intentions of all the parties to promote peace in the region.
- A "peace declaration” between Israel and Bahrain – a general document short of an agreement which will include a commitment by both parties to draft a peace treaty.
- The Israel-UAE peace treaty. The treaty will come into force only after a vote in the Israeli cabinet and in the Israeli Knesset.