The White House on Tuesday will host the signing of normalization agreements between Israel and two Gulf countries, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. An unnamed senior Israeli official is calling the accord with Abu Dhabi a “peace treaty,” and the deal with Manama a “declaration of peace.” The former will require ratification by Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, and, once approved, will have firm grounding under international law. Neither of the Gulf countries was ever in a state of war with Israel, meaning that rather than signaling peace, the agreements pave the way for full ties, be they diplomatic or economic. In reality, all three nations have maintained behind-the-scenes relationships for years, with Iran being a common enemy. The signing ceremony will take place on the White House’s South Lawn at noon Washington time. Signing for Israel will be Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan will sign on behalf of the UAE, and Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani for Bahrain.
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