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White House previews Abraham Accords ceremony

The UAE and Bahrain will be represented by their foreign ministers, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani. The Israeli delegation will be led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

(September 15, 2020 / JNS) The signing of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain each normalizing ties with Israel will take place on the South Lawn of the White House and feature the parties involved signing their own document, a senior administration official told reporters on Monday.

The UAE will sign a peace accord, which was verbally agreed upon on Aug. 13, while Bahrain will sign a declaration of peace since its agreement in principle to normalize relations with Israel was only announced on Sept. 11, according to the official.

Additionally, the three Mideast countries and the United States will sign a document affirming the Abraham Accords, as they are now called due to multiple deals, the administration official said in response to a question from JNS.

The few hundred attendees expected will be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to the deaths of more than 195,00 people in the United States.

The event will be preceded by a meeting of the representatives, and following the main event, consist of a lunch at the White House.

The official said that the administration is expecting some senior Democratic members of Congress to attend, though some have already declined. The names of those invited were not disclosed.

The UAE and Bahrain will be represented at the South Lawn ceremony by their foreign ministers, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, respectively, while the Israeli delegation will be led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The upcoming normalization deals between Israel and other Middle East nations are the first since Israel’s peace deal with Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994. The UAE and Bahrain will be the first Gulf countries to normalize ties with the Jewish state.

In a video statement from Washington on Monday, Netanyahu showed what he said were the draft accords with the UAE and Bahrain, although he did not show the side that apparently has the text.

“We’ve worked on this for many years. The moment will come tomorrow,” he said. “This is a massive turning point in the history of Israel, as well as the history of the Middle East. It will have a huge and positive impact on all Israelis.”

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