Schumer Praises Trump’s Middle East Peace Deal as ‘Welcome News’

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
September 16, 2020Updated: September 16, 2020

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sept. 15 praised President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace deal, saying that it is “welcome news.”

“Normalization of the relations between Israel and other countries is welcome news, but I want to see the details of the agreement,” Schumer told reporters during a press briefing Tuesday. “I’ve always said for a long time that it’s long past due for nations in the region to normalize relations with Israel.”

His comments came after the president on Tuesday declared a “historic day for peace” as two historic Middle East peace deals were signed between several Gulf states and Israel.

President Trump Hosts Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony On White House South Lawn
(L-R) Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs Minister of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, and Foreign Affairs Minister of the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan wave from the Truman Balcony of the White House after the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Sept. 15, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Trump said the move will “change the course of history,” bring about a “new Middle East,” and create an era of “peace and prosperity.” He noted that the White House achieved two peace agreements in a single month.

“It’s an important day for peace,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed deals with the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the three nations agreed on the measure to normalize relations.

“Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries, we take a major stride toward a future in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity,” Trump said Tuesday.

The agreements “will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region,” he continued. “Something which nobody thought was possible, certainly not in this day and age; maybe in many decades from now—but one founded on shared interests, mutual respect, and friendship.”

The deal will normalize commercial, security, and diplomatic relations between Israel and Bahrain, as well as Israel and the UAE. The other Arab countries that have normalized relations with Israel are Egypt and Jordan.

The president later told reporters that additional peace deals are in the works with eight or nine countries, without elaborating on which countries are in the peace deal pipeline, but mentioned that he has spoken to the king of Saudi Arabia.

President Trump Holds Bilateral Meetings With Middle Eastern Abraham Accords Countries
President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, on Sept. 15, 2020. (Doug Mills/The New York Times/Getty Images)

Netanyahu said Tuesday it “heralds a new dawn of peace” between Jewish people and others, saying Trump has brought about a “realistic” chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. “This was unimaginable a few years ago,” the prime minister said.

The move represents another diplomatic victory for Trump, who has cast himself a peacemaker and has sought to end U.S. involvement in foreign wars—coming two months before the November election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), meanwhile, described the peace deal as a “distraction” amid the ongoing CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

“Good for him [Trump] 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,” Pelosi told CNBC Tuesday.

Pelosi also in said a statement that while it marked “an important day,” “questions remain” about the UAE’s commitment to purchase F-35 fighter jets from the United States.

“As we learn more about the full details of both agreements, questions remain—specifically, regarding the commitment that the UAE has received from the Trump Administration to purchase American-made F-35 aircraft. The U.S. Congress, on a bipartisan basis, will be watching and monitoring to ensure that Israel can maintain its qualitative military edge in the region.

“It is also critically important that we fully understand the agreements’ details regarding the announced freeze of efforts by Israel to annex portions of the West Bank,” she said.

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.