US ambassador: UAE-Israel deal ‘huge win’ for Trump

Tel Aviv City Hall is lit up with the flags of the United Arab Emirates and Israel as the countries announced they would be establishing full diplomatic ties, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. In a nationally broadcast statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the “full and official peace” with the UAE would lead to cooperation in many spheres between the countries and a “wonderful future” for citizens of both countries. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

UNITED NATIONS — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says she is celebrating the announcement of diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, calling it “a huge win” for President Donald Trump and for the world.

Kelly Craft said in an interview with The Associated Press that the diplomatic ties show “just how hungry for peace we all are in this world,” and how Mideast countries are all understanding the need “to stand firm against a regime that is the number one state sponsor of terrorism” — Iran.

Craft says she believes that more of the Middle East will be “joining together,” and pointing to a letter Sunday from the UAE and five other nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council endorsing an extension of the U.S. arms embargo on Iran which is set to expire on Oct. 18. The GCC countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

“Today’s announcement is just a statement that the Middle East, that the countries are coming together, because they recognize, they understand the importance of restraining this murderous regime,” Craft said. “I’m celebrating the president’s vision, his strategy. He’s been talking about this, he’s been working behind the scenes on this particular issue, and today it was announced and we’re all celebrating.”

Elsewhere, the Gulf Arab island-nation of Bahrain says it welcomes the deal reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to establish full diplomatic relations.

Bahrain congratulated the UAE and its leadership for reaching a deal that it said suspends Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands while “taking steps to enhance the chances for Middle East peace.”

That’s according to a statement in the state-run Bahrain News Agency on Thursday.

Bahrain, like the UAE, has long been eyeing ties with Israel and hosted a conference for the Trump administration aimed at rallying economic support for his Middle East plan unveiled last year.

Bahrain is the first Gulf Arab country to comment publicly on the UAE-Israel announcement.

The president of Egypt has welcomed the deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to establish full diplomatic ties.

Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said in a tweet that he praises the parties’ efforts to “achieve prosperity and stabilization in our region.”

He said he also spoke by phone with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan after the announcement of the UAE-Israeli relations on Thursday.

El-Sissi’s office said the Egyptian leader, whose county, along with Jordan, has active diplomatic ties with Israel, called the UAE-Israel deal “a historic peace step” that would push Mideast peace efforts forward, and help stabilize the region.

El-Sissi also hailed the halt of the Israeli annexation plans for occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state.