During Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent trip to the Mideast, two themes emerged. The first was confidence that more nations in the region would join Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan in the Abraham Accords and normalize their relations with Israel. The second was that the region was unified in recognizing the threat posed by an aggressive Iranian regime.
Speaking in Jerusalem before a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary Pompeo said, “These agreements are important for so many reasons, important for the whole world...These agreements open up wonderful opportunities for commerce and economic development…These agreements also tell malign actors like the Islamic Republic of Iran that their influence in the region is waning, and that they are ever more isolated, and this shall forever be, unless [Iran’s leaders] change their direction.”
In an interview in Abu Dhabi with Al-Arabiya television, Secretary Pompeo said that more nations in the region will make the choice “on their own timing” to join the Abraham Accords “because it’s the right thing to do for their nation, because it’ll increase prosperity and security for their country.” He noted that previously it was believed that peace could be achieved only if the problems between Israel and Palestinians could be solved in their entirety. “That was fundamentally wrong,” he said. “It didn’t recognize the reality. The reality is that now the Gulf States and Israel recognize they have a common threat from Iran.”
In an interview in Abu Dhabi with National Review magazine, Secretary Pompeo emphasized the importance of resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but he said, “We can’t stand by as we have for 40 years and allow that conflict to be the precondition for further enhancement of peace and stability.”
Secretary Pompeo called the Abraham Accords “a marker for the future of the Middle East.” It took “American engagement and American leadership,” said Secretary Pompeo. “And when we do that, when America is a force for good throughout the world, including in the Middle East, other nations will want to come alongside of us and they’ll make the right choices, including the choice to partner with Israel for their prosperity.”