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Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for brokering Israel-UAE deal

Conservative-leaning Norwegian lawmaker says he has recommended US president, who has done ‘much’ more than Obama to receive award

US President Donald Trump speaks to the 2020 Council for National Policy Meeting, August 21, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Donald Trump speaks to the 2020 Council for National Policy Meeting, August 21, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US President Donald Trump has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for brokering the landmark normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, a Norwegian lawmaker who nominated him said Wednesday.

“For his merit, I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees,” Christian Tybring-Gjedde, who heads Norway’s delegation to NATO, told Fox News.

Tybring-Gjedde wrote in his nomination letter to the Nobel Committee that “as it is expected other Middle Eastern countries will follow in the footsteps of the UAE, this agreement could be a game changer that will turn the Middle East into a region of cooperation and prosperity,” the report said.

He also praised Trump’s “key role in facilitating contact between conflicting parties and … creating new dynamics in other protracted conflicts, such as the Kashmir border dispute between India and Pakistan, and the conflict between North and South Korea, as well as dealing with the nuclear capabilities of North Korea.”

Hailing the fact the the US president withdrew many troops from the Middle East, he added: “Trump has broken a 39-year-old streak of American Presidents either starting a war or bringing the United States into an international armed conflict. The last president to avoid doing so was Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter.”

Israel and the UAE announced on August 13 that they were establishing full diplomatic relations. The UAE is just the third Arab country to agree to official relations with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan. Israeli and American officials have expressed hope that other Gulf Arab countries will soon follow suit, with relations based on mutual commercial and security interests, and shared enmity toward Iran.

The deal infuriated the Palestinians and eroded a longstanding Arab position that normalization with Israel will only come after the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved. However, some Arab states, including Egypt, Oman and Bahrain, have issued praise for the normalization agreement.

Oman, Bahrain, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia are among the countries that Israel and the US hope could follow the UAE in forging diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. But Saudi Arabia has said it will not normalize relations until Israel agrees to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, in keeping with the decades-old stance of most Arab nations.

National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat elbow bumps with an Emirati official ahead of boarding the plane before leaving Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, September 1, 2020. (Nir Elias/Pool/AFP)

Tybring-Gjedde already nominated Trump for the same prize in 2018 after the US president held a summit with North Korean dictator Kin Jong Un.

The lawmaker, who belongs to a conservative-leaning populist party, denied trying to curry favor with Trump trough the nomination.

“I’m not a big Trump supporter. The committee should look at the facts and judge him on the facts – not on the way he behaves sometimes,” he told Fox News. “The people who have received the Peace Prize in recent years have done much less than Donald Trump. For example, Barack Obama did nothing.”

Trump’s predecessor got the prize in 2009 in a controversial decision, for what the Nobel Committee described as his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

The winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize — selected by a five-member committee appointed by the Norwegian parliament — will not be announced until October of next year.

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