Trump says another country could join Israel-UAE accord

Normalization of ties with Israel test of sensitivity of IW

UPDATE 1-Trump says another country could join Israel-UAE accord

President Donald Trump said Thursday that a third country could join a groundbreaking peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. "Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region", the joint statement said.

The announcement came less than a week ahead of a White House signing ceremony between Israel and the United Arab Emirates that will bring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati officials to Washington.

"King Hamad and Prime Minister Netanyahu express their deep appreciation to President Trump for his dedication to peace in the region, his focus on shared challenges, and the pragmetic and unique approach he has taken to bringing their nations together", the statement adds.

"Even great warriors get exhausted of fighting, and they're exhausted of fighting", Mr Trump said, using language other American presidents and senior diplomats have avoided to quell tensions in the volatile Middle East.

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Still, Bahrain's decision to join the UAE in building diplomatic ties with Israel starkly breaks with longstanding Saudi policy.

There are now 30 United Nations member states that do not recognize Israel.

Netanyahu confirmed that Israel would be signing the treaty later Friday, saying the agreement opens a "new era of peace" in relations.

Palestinian Ambassador Mohannad Aklouk told the Ma'an news agency that, after a three-hour discussion, the league chose not to include a clear censure of the UAE-Israel deal.

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According to the Trump administration, both the Manama workshop on the U.S. president's "peace plan" and Bahrain's subsequent decision to normalize ties with Israel serve to advance the "cause of peace, dignity, and economic opportunity for the Palestinian people". While tacitly blessing the deals Saudi Arabia, the regional power player, is not expected to move as quickly.

The agreement was "a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people", like the UAE-Israel deal announced last month, Ahmad Majdalani, social affairs minister in the occupied West Bank-based PA, told AFP.

Bahrain is acutely aware of threats posed by Iran, an anxiety that comes from Bahrain's majority Shiite population, despite being ruled since 1783 by the Sunni Al Khalifa family.

President Trump tweeted his support of the deal, calling it "another HISTORIC breakthrough" with "our two GREAT friends". I spoke to the king of Saudi Arabia, so we're talking. Negotiations last broke down between Israelis and Palestinians in 2014, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to have political dealings with the Trump White House for more than two years, accusing it of pro-Israel bias.

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