Declaring “the dawn of a new Middle East,” US President Donald Trump hosted the signing of historic diplomatic accords between Israel and two Gulf Arab states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in Washington on Tuesday. Hundreds of guests attended the ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House as Trump presided over the inking of the deals.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani represented their nations at the ceremony with the agreements being dubbed the “Abraham Accords”.
The deals, set to normalise relations between Israel and the two Gulf countries, are a distinct shift from the status quo in the Middle East but they have been met with scepticism in some quarters with questions over their relative impact and their ostensible neglect of the Palestinian issue.
For Trump, the accords also represented an occasion to appear statesmanlike with the November 3 presidential election in the United States just 50 days away.