President Donald Trump on Friday celebrated the news that Bahrain had agreed to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel.
“The sand was loaded up with blood, and now you’re going to see that a lot of that sand is going to be loaded up with peace,” he said.
The president spoke about the agreement in the Oval Office on Friday afternoon.
Trump said he expected more Middle East countries to normalize relations with Israel, bringing peace to the Middle East.
He said he spoke with the King Salaman of Saudi Arabia about the agreements.
“The good news is we have many other countries now in the Middle East that want this, and that means peace,” Trump said.
The president said that the growing coalition would help bring countries like Iran and possibly even the Palestinians to the table in the future.
Trump said that he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in a three-way call earlier Friday. He announced that the two leaders would travel to the White House to celebrate the agreement on Tuesday.
The two countries will exchange embassies, ambassadors, and cooperate on issues of economic and national security.
This is the second Middle East peace agreement between Arab nations and Israel in recent weeks. In August, the United Arab Emirates agreed to a peace deal with Israel.
“We talked about this. He is a great gentleman in what they’ve done in terms of fighting terror. It’s a much different ball game than it was before,” Trump said.
President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner hailed the historic moment.
“What President Trump has done here is unthinkable. He’s brought people in the Middle East together,” Kushner said during the event in the Oval Office.
Vice President Mike Pence also celebrated the news, announced on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“I can think of no more fitting tribute to the heroes that were forged on this day 19 years ago,” Vice President Mike Pence said. “And all the heroes that were forced on battlefields ever since.”
The president noted that America would continue withdrawing troops from the Middle East, as announced on Thursday.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman praised the deal as the “fruit” of President Trump’s “peace through strength” agenda to stand with Israel.
“People have thought about the Middle East for the past 100 years or more as a place of violence, of hopelessness, of suffering, of war,” he said. “What we are seeing in real time in this room today and last month: we’re seeing the paradigm of the Middle East completely change.”