Abraham Accord and the Future of US Diplomacy
On September 15, 2020, US President Donald Trump hosted the representatives of Israel, UAE, and Bahrain.
The three countries plus the US signed a peace deal, called the “Abraham Accord”.
The peace deal will officially normalize the diplomatic relations of Israel and UAE, as well as of Israel and Bahrain.
This Abraham Accord surfaced after the Trump administration’s plan for the “Deal of the Century” did not receive support from the Palestinian side.
The deal between Israel and UAE was agreed on August 13, 2020. UAE became the third Arab country ever to establish a diplomatic relations with Israel. Previously, Egypt was the first Arab nation to ever recognize Israel in 1979. Jordan followed suit in 1994 as the second Arab nation ever to recognize Israel.
Israel and UAE have been forging secret relations for at least two decades. With this official recognition, now flights linking the two nations cooperation in trade, technology, education, business, and science, will be available for the citizens of both countries. The flight from Israel to UAE will pass through the air space of Saudi Arabia. Saudi authority has authorized Israeli carriers to fly over its air territory.
As of September 16, numerous European, Latin American, Asian, and Oceanian countries supported the decision of the two countries — brokered by the US — to normalize the relations. Countries like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and even China have showed their support.
The deal between Israel and Bahrain, however, came as a shock to many. The agreement was announced on September 11, 2020 — less than a week to the actual signing ceremony. Many argue that Saudi Arabia plays a role in the process by not preventing Bahrain from pursuing a diplomatic relations with Israel. This is because many perceive that Saudi Arabia has a very close relationship with Bahrain — and that Bahrain is “one of Saudi’s provinces”.
Besides the aforementioned Israel-UAE deal and the Israel-Bahrain deal, the US has also brokered another deal. This one is between Kosovo and Serbia. The deal is for Kosovo to open their diplomatic mission in Jerusalem, and in exchange, Israel will recognize Kosovo as a country. Kosovo is a Muslim-majority territory in Europe. Serbia will also move its diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Kosovo and Serbia will then normalize economic relations.
Nobel Prize for Trump?
Due to these achievements, many have nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize 2021. A Norwegian lawmaker nominated Trump for US’ effort in brokering Israel-UAE deal. Meanwhile, a Swedish politician nominated Trump for the Kosovo-Serbia deal.
Is Trump’s Approach to Diplomacy Working?
By now, we know that Trump has a distinct approach to diplomacy. Trump wants to impose full force to get what he wants — even if that means quitting from existing framework (like the Paris Agreement, Iran Nuclear Deal, NAFTA, etc.). Trump has been pressing China, North Korea, and Iran to comply with his wishes.
Trump’s unconventional practice was for a while seen as successful in its approach to North Korea (he met with Kim Jong Un twice). With China, he met Liu He, China’s trade top negotiator, in the White House to sign the Phase One US-China Trade Agreement. Despite the fact that both efforts fell short, the newest three deals have proven that in some circumstances, Trump’s approach actually works.
Many believe that Trump’s push for the three deals discussed above is part of Trump’s effort to boost domestic support for the November Presidential Election. If he wins in November, we will most likely see more deals like this in the next four years.