Bahrain, Israel, UAE sign Abraham Accords Photograph:( AFP )
US President Donald Trump has pulled off a big foreign policy win just weeks before US Presidential Elections. UAE and Bahrain, Arab countries are now allies of Israel.
A historic deal was signed between Israel, UAE and Bahrain. The deal was more than 70 years in the making. Abraham Accords, the peace deal signed by Israel, Bahrain and UAE changes West Asian politics completely. The deal was sealed in August and signed yesterday.
US President Donald Trump has pulled off a big foreign policy win just weeks before US Presidential Elections. UAE and Bahrain, two Arab countries are now allies of Israel.
Arabs and Israel have fought for decades. Arabs backed Palestine and insisted that Israel-Palestine issue should be settled. This was their condition to give recognition to Israel as a country. The dispute has not been settled but Abraham Accords have been signed nonetheless.
More Arab countries are expected to normalise relations with Israel soon. Until now only Egypt and Jordan had ties with Israel.
Trump is calling Abraham Accords 'The dawn of the new Middle East'. This peace deal is the most significant diplomatic achievement of Trump.
The Abraham Accords, named after the common patriarch of Jews, Muslims and Christians, is the beginning of Israel's rapprochement with Arab world.
Palestinians have called this a betrayal. In reality, support to Palestine has long been reduced to political symbolism. Arab countries have had covert dealings with Israel in past.
The Abraham Accords paves the way for Israel and other signatories to set up embassies, open travel routes and sign business deals.
It's a big win for Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu too. Israel celebrated the deal by projecting flags of all four countries on the old city walls in Jerusalem. Netanyahu called the deal 'A Path to Peace'
Big Shift in West Asia
US is orchestrating a big shift in West Asia. Both UAE and Bahrain are allies of Saudi Arabia. Both countries will benefit a lot from the deal. UAE, while projecting an image that it has taken care of Palestinian interests while signing the deal, can now access advanced American weaponry like F-35 jets. Similarly, Bahrain can now have access to high tech Israeli weapons.
But here's the real deal.
By signing Abraham Accords, a stronger alliance against Iran is taking shape in West Asia. Trump has even said that five more countries may recognise Israel.
What does this mean?
It means that Israel-Palestine conflict no longer dictates terms of engagement in West Asia. It's not about Jews versus Arab anymore. It's now sectarian, Shia versus Sunni.
Iran is on one side, and Sunni states in the gulf alongside Israel are on the other side.
Iran can count on Turkey for support. Pakistan does not back the deal but it is indebted to the Saudis.
What will happen next?
Israel is now recognised by Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and UAE. Next in line are these countries.
Saudi Arabia: This is a strong possibility. Saudi Arabia is already co-operating with Israel against Iran. It is also said that Bahrain signed the deal only after nod from the Saudis. But Saudi Arabia itself signing the deal would be a major development.
Oman: Oman congratulated Israel and UAE on their agreement. It has often played the role of interlocutor between Israel and Arab world.
Beyond West Asia, names of countries like Sudan and Morocco are also doing rounds.
What happens to Palestine?
Palestinians are angry and they are protesting. They say that agreement should not be called a peace deal as it has no representation from Palestine.