Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden “welcomed” the signing of the “Abraham Accords,” which begin the normalizing of relations between the US and two Gulf countries in a deal spearheaded by the Trump administration.
In a statement released Tuesday, the former vice president praised the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain after they joined with President Trump to sign the historic accords.
“I welcome the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain taking steps to normalize ties with Israel. It is good to see others in the Middle East recognizing Israel and even welcoming it as a partner,” Biden said.
The Democratic presidential hopeful pledged that if he is elected, his administration would “build on” the Trump administration’s efforts.
“A Biden-Harris Administration will build on these steps, challenge other nations to keep pace, and work to leverage these growing ties into progress toward a two-state solution and a more stable, peaceful region,” the statement read.
On Tuesday, Trump hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alongside the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain on the White House South Lawn to affirm their recent recognition of Israel’s statehood.
Bahrain and the UAE are the third and fourth Arab countries to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. The breakthrough also established direct commercial flights between Israel and the UAE.
Documents signed at the event — with a witness signature from Trump — commit Israel, the UAE and Bahrain to exchange ambassadors and open embassies.
They do not, however, address multiple major sticking points in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, such as the final status of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Speaking to reporters and other attendees at the event, Trump said the countries will “cooperate as partners across the broad range of sectors, from tourism to trade and health care to security, they’re going to work together. They are friends.”
The Trump administration efforts on Middle East peace have been spearheaded by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser.
Speaking to CNN Tuesday evening, he remarked of the deal, “Bringing the Arab countries together with Israel hopefully marks the beginning of the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict. I think it removes a huge psychological barrier.”