Pelosi Calls Trump’s Middle East Deal ‘a Distraction’

September 12, 2020 Updated: September 13, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) downplayed President Donald Trump’s recent success in securing a diplomatic deal in the Middle East, calling it “a distraction.”

The White House announced on Sept. 11 that Trump has brokered a deal to establish full diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel, making it the second such agreement between Israel and an Arab nation in less than a month.

“Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead,” Trump said.

Pelosi, in an interview on Sept. 11 with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, dismissed the deals.

Blitzer asked her, “How much credit do you give the president of the United States for these peace agreements?”

“Well, hopefully they won’t—hopefully they will beneficial [sic] to the region,” Pelosi replied. “We’ve been waiting for a very long time for the president’s proposal for an Israeli–Palestinian peace agreement that honored the two-state solution. It was coming in two weeks, it was coming in two months, it was coming in six months—it still hasn’t come in any way that has brought peace.

“So, good for him for having a distraction on a day when the numbers of people who are affected and the numbers of people who are dying from this virus only increases.”

Under the deal, Israel and Bahrain have vowed to begin the exchange of embassies and ambassadors, start direct flights between their countries, and begin cooperating on a range of fronts.

“As the president’s work continues, more Arab and Muslim countries will likely seek to normalize relations with Israel,” a White House statement on the Israel–Bahrain deal reads.

“Each country that normalizes relations will build upon the other, bringing peace and prosperity to the region and the people who live there.”

The agreement comes on the heels of a historic agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are the first Arab nations to normalize relations with Israel in more than 25 years.

A Norwegian lawmaker, Christian Tybring-Gjedde, nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for the president’s role in brokering the deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Trump earlier helped broker a deal between Serbia and Kosovo, which have been in open conflict for more than 20 years, with the two agreeing to normalize economic relations, and members of the Trump administration expressing hope that this would eventually lead to the normalization of diplomatic relations. For his role in that effort, Trump was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a Swedish lawmaker.

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