Washington — President Trump presided over a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday with the leaders of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for the signing ofbetween the nations. Called the "Abraham Accords," the declarations are meant to formalize the normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and the two Gulf nations.
"We're here this afternoon to change the course of history," Mr. Trump said as he began the ceremony, saying the nations present are taking a "major stride" in the direction of peace and prosperity.
"The nations of the regions had to decide what kind of a future they wanted for their children and for their families, and for their nation itself. No one could make that choice for them," Mr. Trump continued. "They had to do that themselves. Today the world sees that they are choosing cooperation over conflict, friendship over enmity, prosperity over poverty and hope over despair. 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."
The Emiratis and the Israelis signed their own bilateral document, as did the Bahrainis and the Israelis. Representatives from all three nations also signed a document. The U.S. signed the deals as a witness or observer.
Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said "long after the pandemic is gone, the peace we make today will endure."
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is also the president's son-in-law, on Monday called the agreements a "huge accomplishment for the countries involved and have led to a tremendous sense of hope and optimism in the region."
Asked about other potential nations that might join the agreement, Mr. Trump said the U.S. is "very far down the road with five additional countries." Meanwhile, peace between Israel and Palestine remains elusive, and relations remain very tense.
Mr. Trump announced the diplomatic deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates last month. Kushner and national security adviser Robert O'Brien then joined an Israeli delegation for the first commercial flight from Israel to the UAE following the deal to normalize relations between the two nations.
The president then announced Friday that Bahrain and Israel agreed to establish full diplomatic relations.