Trump Administration Designates UAE and Bahrain as ‘Major Security Partners’

January 15, 2021 Updated: January 16, 2021

The White House late Friday designated the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain as “major security partners” of the United States.

“The designation as a ‘Major Security Partner’ is a status unique to the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “It recognizes our exceptional security partnership—exemplified by their hosting thousands of United States Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines—and the commitment of each country to countering violent extremism across the region.

“Most notably, both countries have participated in numerous United States-led coalitions over the past 30 years.

“Today’s decision demonstrates a new level of partnership between the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom Bahrain and represents an enduring commitment to economic and security cooperation. It also reflects their extraordinary courage, determination, and leadership in entering into the Abraham Accords.”

The Abraham Accords refers to peace treaties brokered by President Donald Trump that the two countries signed with Israel at the White House on Sept. 15, 2020. The treaties normalize commercial, security, and diplomatic relations between the countries, in deals that were first announced on Aug. 13 and Sept. 11, 2020.

Prior to the agreement, Israel was only recognized by Egypt and Jordan in the Middle East. A number of Arab nations have boycotted Israel for decades, saying they would only establish ties if its Palestinian dispute were settled.

Trump said on the day of the Abraham Accords signing that it will “change the course of history,” bring about a “new Middle East,” and create an era of “peace and prosperity.”

Trump has, throughout his presidency, sought to end U.S. involvement in foreign wars.

The announcement comes on the same day as Pentagon officials announced that Israel has been moved to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility, and away from the U.S European Command (EUCOM) area of responsibility. The move lays groundwork for Israel, the United States, and Arab partners to carry out joint exercises and plan for Iran-related threats.

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