Kushner on Israel-UAE deal: ‘The stage is now set’ for further agreements

US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, speaking alongside Netanyahu and Kushner at their joint appearance, says Israel’s security remains a White House “highest priority” and touts American policies in the Middle East under US President Donald Trump.

He says the future for Israel and Arab countries “has never been brighter” and expresses hope the Jewish state will soon establish diplomatic ties with other regional states, following the normalization agreement between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi.

“May God bless Israel and May God bless the United States of America,” O’Brien says.

Speaking after O’Brien, Jared Kushner says it was “a long and winding road” to reach the Israel-UAE deal. Breakthroughs like this, he says, do not “happen often,” and do not “happen easy.”

Kushner lists a series of pro-Israel administration policies, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and also touts the killing of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and other US actions in the region.

He says the release of Trump’s peace proposal was the “breakthrough” that led to the agreement between Israel and the UAE. “There’ll be a lot more to come.”

He says the president has been “writing a script for a new Middle East,” starting from his first presidential trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome. “He has reversed 20 years of bad outcomes in the Middle East” and built strong foundations for progress.

“A lot of people described the state of the Middle East as hopeless,” Kushner recalls, but in the last weeks “I’ve felt a new sense of optimism… The stage is now set for even more [agreements],” he says.

Trump Administration’s senior adviser and peace envoy Jared Kushner (right) speaks about the Israel-UAE peace deal, in Jerusalem alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien (left), August 30, 2020 (PMO Screenshot)

He adds: “Four years ago, my father-in-law [Trump] asked me to work on peace in the Middle East. I’ve given it my all. There’s still much work to accomplish, but the Abraham Accord [with the UAE] is a giant step forward. To play a role in [the normalization deal’s] creation — and I say this as the grandson of two Holocaust survivors — it means more to me and to my family than I can ever express. We will continue to pursue peace between Israel, the biblical homeland of the Jewish people, and its Arab and Muslim neighbors and I have never been more hopeful about peace.”

Finally, says Kushner, the president has asked him to stress how proud he is “of the bond he has been able to restore between the US and Israel.”

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