Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Hosts UAE, Bahrain And Israel For Deal Signing; Israel, UAE, Bahrain Sign Historic Peace Accord At White House; White House: Precautions Taken To Comply With COVID-19 regulations. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired September 15, 2020 - 12:00:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Israel will sign agreements to normalize relations with not just one, but two Arab nations, the United

Arab Emirates, which is where I am based and we are broadcasting to you tonight, and the small Kingdom of Bahrain.

Donald Trump is hosting the ceremony. You are looking at live pictures from the White House. This, well, it's going to be set as big a coup for the

U.S. president just weeks out from the election. He has been calling these deals peace accords even though let's be quite frank, the countries

involved have never been at war with each other.

So, what do these agreements, let's call them those -- agreements entail? Well, embassies, ambassadors, flights, trade deals, recognition itself, and

all three countries bound by a common regional enemy, Iran. You are watching all of this unfold this hour on the White House lawn, where masks

are recommended, but they are not required.

CNN everywhere that matters for you on this. First, CNN White House correspondent John Harwood joining me from the White House. And as we

consider these images, John, your thoughts?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think this is a -- an example of the president looking to tout an accomplishment using the

grandeur of the White House. The idea of peace making is a powerful one in - in the way Americans think about the presidency.

It seems to be, in the view of people who have worked on this issue for a long time, a positive step forward to normalize relations between Israel

and Bahrain and the UAE. But not - but a modest step forward for the reasons that you mentioned in the setup.

It does not resolve the Palestinian conflict, but it is -- it is a - it is a bit of movement. And the Palestinians tried actually to get the Arab

league to condemn this deal or to distance itself from this deal and were not able to do so. So, this is something the president can tout.

I think the other dimension to watch is the one that you alluded to with the social distancing and the masks which is another effort by the

administration to communicate business as usual, and not give Americans the impression that the United States is still in the grip of a pandemic when,

in fact, it is in the grip of a pandemic with cases approximating 40,000 a day, and deaths approximating 1,000 a day.

ANDERSON: You have made a very good point, and it is an important one. To see what we are witnessing today at the White House only through the prism

of a foreign policy win for Donald Trump would be to understate the importance of this. Although, clearly, the Trump administration touting

this as a great result. And we will hear more about that result, I'm sure in the campaign as it goes on over the next 49 days.

But there is -- there is a narrative out here in this region that I am broadcasting from, and I live it here and broadcast from the UAE that goes

-- that the effort at this point is to change the paradigm. The effort for a new peace paradigm is what, certainly, those who support this agreement

are looking to witness.

HARWOOD: Right. And the question is, can that be successful? That may be the only paradigm available to President Trump and his team. They have

sided very firmly with the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. They're not seen as the United States has tried to make itself seen in the past as an

honest broker between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

And so, in that case, working around the Palestinians, and trying to work from the edges back toward the center, and to some degree isolate the

Palestinians, may be their most viable strategy. But again, we simply don't know whether they can succeed. Certainly, Jared Kushner, the president's

son-in-law, who had taken on this task of working on the Middle East early in the administration had grand ideas about a comprehensive Middle East

peace deal and that of course has not come to pass.

ANDERSON: John, what is interesting and almost unheard of these days is that these normalization deals have actually been applauded on a bipartisan



Can you just explain to us why that is and why it is so unusual these days?

HARWOOD: Well, I think because peace is better than no peace. And again, if it's a step forward, people -- Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign

Relations, veteran Republican foreign policy aide but one who's been very critical of President Trump has described this as a positive step forward.

And so, you are going to get support from both sides. This is more of an inside game in Washington than a something with voters. Voters of course

don't foreign -- follow foreign policy very closely. But what the administration is hoping to communicate is in the broadest terms that the

president has an achievement on foreign policy that moves in the direction of peace.

ANDERSON: John Harwood is in Washington for us. John, stand by.

Oren Liebermann with us from Jerusalem. And we have learned that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was certainly advised to wear a mask

during this ceremony. He didn't arrive with one. And we are looking at those arrival pictures now. How will that go down in a country which is

about to enter its second lockdown, sir?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not well. In watching the Israeli news channels here one of the first questions after you see President Donald

Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu that the anchors look at is, is Netanyahu wearing a mask?

Coronavirus is a big story here. And one that Netanyahu, unlike Trump, is not trying to downplay it. Netanyahu has continuously advocated for social

distancing, masks and following the requirements. In addition, this is a country that is what -- three days away from its second general lockdown,

perhaps the first country in the world to reimpose a general lock down because coronavirus numbers here are so bad.

It is a big issue here. One that Netanyahu used to be on top of when he had the public trust. He no longer has the public trust when it comes to

handling coronavirus. So, to see him getting out of the car and shaking Trump's hand without a mask and then we're looking to see if he's wearing a

mask during the ceremony. These are important issues to Israelis.

No doubt as are the Abraham Accords. And as John pointed out, there is support across the political spectrum generally here for the accords

themselves with even members of the opposition saying this is a big deal.

Even if it's not a peace agreement between countries that have formally been at war, the fact that there are normalization agreements between

Israel and two new Arab countries in the UAE and Bahrain, this is a big deal. Indicative of a shifting region. Indicative of a region moving closer

to Israel. And that should be celebrated by all sides here from the perspective of the Israelis.

Palestinians of course not so much. And while you hear the statements coming from the UAE, Israel, Bahrain, Oman and Egypt commending this, the

Palestinians have said this isn't really a peace ceremony. It's a ceremony - ceremony celebrating the continuation of occupation. They are firmly

alone on this one at this point right now. At least in terms of the players here.

ANDERSON: The Palestinian leadership quite frankly calling this one thing a betrayal. You filed the report earlier and I just - one obvious to see

this, Oren, because it sets the context for what we are about to witness.


LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The gesture was simple, but the consequences shook the region. In 1979, a handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem

Begin, an Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, marked the first peace agreement between Israel and an Arab nation. The picture with U.S. President Jimmy

Carter standing front and center was historic. Two neighboring nations who had known mostly war coming together for peace.


LIEBERMANN: 15 years later, it was President Bill Clinton who stood in the center as Israel and Jordan made peace with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

and King Hussein.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here in this region, which is the home of not only both your fates, but mine, I say blessed are

the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the earth.

LIEBERMANN: Another historic moment in a region known more for starting wars and for ending them. But major progress on the Israeli Palestinian

conflict proved much more elusive, a series of interim agreements and steps, like Madrid in 1991 never materialized into a final status solution.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Real peace, lasting peace must be based upon security for all states and peoples,

including Israel.

LIEBERMANN: The major breakthrough was the Oslo Accords in 1993.

CLINTON: Let us all go from this place to celebrate the dawn of a new era not only for the Middle East but for the entire world.

LIEBERMANN: But even that fell far short of ending the conflict. When President Donald Trump took office, he immediately set to work on his

vision of a conflict, one that was heavily in favor of Israel, built in part on his personal relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


After Trump moved to U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and took other pro-Israel steps, the Palestinians cutoff contact with the White House. Instead Trump

and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner shifted their efforts to the rest of the region.

The first Israeli commercial flight to land in Abu Dhabi celebrated a normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISER TO U.S. PRESIDENT TRUMP: While this peace was forged by its leaders, it is overwhelmingly desired by the people.

LIEBERMANN: Less than a month later, Bahrain announced it, too, would normalize relations with Israel. This time it will be President Donald

Trump where he loves to be front and center at the White House. If he couldn't make peace in the Middle East with the Palestinians, he would do

it without them.


ANDERSON: And, Oren, these are just some of Donald Trump's thoughts ahead what have we are witnessing today about who might follow next. Have a



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via telephone): Everyone said this couldn't happen. We made a deal with the UAE led by a man, Mohammed,

who is great leader, a great warrior. And we made a deal with the UAE, then Bahrain came in and we have many others going to be coming in over a short

period of time.


ANDERSON: So, Oren, is that a fact? Do we know that to be a fact at this point? Certainly, a wish by the U.S. president.

LIEBERMANN: Definitely a wish, but the only question is what is the time frame he is talking about? Is somebody going to do it tomorrow? That

doesn't seem all that likely. They would have simply done it today. But is this inevitably going to happen? That answer is almost certainly yes.

Who would be the most likely candidate? Perhaps even in the next few days or weeks. That would be Oman. First Oman came out in praise of the

Israel/Bahrain agreement. Second, Oman was already high on the list to begin with.

It was Oman that hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about a year ago. Oman has had essentially covert relations in the past just as the UAE and

Bahrain. So, I think most experts would put that at the top of the list of countries that might move next.

Where else is the U.S. looking? Morocco would be high on the list as well. Morocco has at least outwardly said it will stick to essentially the path

led by the Arab peace initiative, which is first, you need an agreement with the Palestinians. And then they'll move forward.

But the White House has a gift. A major one that it could give the Moroccans. And that might weigh heavily in the favor of them moving on

this. And that would be that the White House might recognize Moroccan sovereignty in occupied Western Sahara. And that would be a very

tantalizing gift for morocco.

Who else will be on the list? Perhaps Sudan. Sudan would very much likely to get off the U.S. state sponsor of terrorist. That too would be a very

tantalizing incentive that the U.S. could dangle. And that the Trump administration could dangle in front of the Sudanese to move on something

like this.

The big one of course would be the Saudis. Is Saudi Arabia going to normalize relations? I think there's no doubt and we've heard from a senior

administration official in the White House, the Saudi gave tacit consent to the Bahrainis moving forward with Israel. So, perhaps that agreement was a

trial balloon for whether Saudi would be moving forward on this.

Does it seem like they're imminent? No. It doesn't. I would certainly put Oman and Morocco ahead of them on the list but the Saudis see a changing

region and even if behind the scenes are part of a changing region.

ANDERSON: Yes. And this is a U.S. president who is nothing if not transactional. What you have laid out there makes total sense as far as the

sort of transactional nature of what we are seeing going on before us.

Oren, thank you for that. We are going to take a very short break. Back after this.



ANDERSON: Well, this is an important day and historic day. The UAE and Bahrain set to sign an agreement to normalize relations with Israel. The

ceremony is about to begin any moment now.

And there is no doubt that this is a foreign policy win for the U.S. president, who, of course, sees himself as the arch deal maker. A foreign

policy win as the U.S. election looms less than two months away. And that has been a point made by critics of not just the U.S. president, but of

this deal.

I spoke with the UAE's minister of foreign affairs about exactly that. Have a listen to what he said.


ANWAR GARGASH, UAE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: I think the most important thing why this peace agreement was juxtaposed very close in this

period to the American election was really the opportunity to suspend annexation. I mean --


ANDERSON: Which has been applauded by the Democrats as much as by the Republicans.

GARGASH: Exactly.

So really, if one is asking the question why now?

I think the key really is in the issue of annexation. I mean, everybody was appalled by the decision of the Israeli government and part of their

electoral pledge really to annex Palestinian lands. And that was, you know, sort of really sort of hanging over a two-state solution. And we could have

signed this next year, we could have signed the year after. But I think that's really the critical part if you're asking the question why now.

ANDERSON: So, why is it that the Palestinians say that it seems clear to them they can no longer count on certain Arab states for support?

GARGASH: I mean, not all our sovereign decisions here have to be completely about the Palestinian issue.


We think that we can have the right balance of having a normal relation with Israel but, at the same time, being, you know, steadfast with regards

to our goal towards the two-state solution and independent Palestinian state and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

So, I would say it is really about a fresh approach. Clearly, the old approach of the empty chair, the old approach of no communications, no

bridges, in our assessment, has not worked.

ANDERSON: So, in reality that means what?

What can you offer to the Palestinians in support of a new dialogue or a dialogue, at least, with the Israelis and the possible re-tabling the two-

state solution?

GARGASH: It's a very good question. I think it's a very good question. I would say, number one, is we already have a tangible outcome, which is the

pledge on suspension of annexation.

Again, is this going to be in perpetuity?

I doubt it. But at least we have quite a comfortable window.

ANDERSON: You're talking about five years?

GARGASH: I don't know. I really don't know. And I think our ability to influence the Israelis will be more pronounced. I don't see it immediately

to deal with tomorrow. But as you build, I would say, a political and economic and investment profile, you know, your weight becomes more

important in a bilateral relationship. That's the nature of things.

ANDERSON: Turkey has accused the UAE -- and I quote here -- of "betraying the Palestinian cause for its own interests." The Turkish foreign minister

saying -- and I quote him here --

"It is a country that puts pressure on some Arab countries regarding Palestine."

Your response?

GARGASH: Well, again, Turkey's position is really not about Palestine. Turkey's position is about a polarized region, where Turkey has tried to

play an outsized role within the Arab context.

ANDERSON: You have accused them of neo-Ottoman expansionism.

GARGASH: Well, true, and I think this is also part and parcel of Turkey's image with itself.

ANDERSON: Dr. Gargash, there does remain significant bipartisan opposition to selling F-35s to the UAE due to concerns that that would degrade

Israel's technological and tactical military advantage in the region. While this deal -- the normalization deal in and of itself has bipartisan

support, that element does not, as we understand it.

GARGASH: The debate will always be there. I mean, I was reading comments, I think the day before yesterday, by a former Israeli prime minister, arguing

that these F-35s should be sold to the UAE. And that was ridiculous in any way that the F-35s undermine Israel's security or -- but make actually an

American ally perhaps more secure.

ANDERSON: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, and I quote.

We have a 20-year plus security relationship with the UAE.

We have provided them with technical assistance and with military assistance.

We will now continue to review that process.

We are deeply committed to ensure that the UAE has -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- the equipment they need to secure and defend their own people from

the same threat that we face, that of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Is that what this is all about?

GARGASH: We do have our issues with Iran. And many of these issues are substantial issues. But I think we see that these issues need to be

resolved with -- through de-escalation and through diplomacy.

This is not, you know, an agreement about Iran. This is an agreement, firstly, about the UAE, about its UAE -- UAE's role and position in the

world. And it's secondly about the Arab-Israeli theater. And what can be done there and what messages to send. This is not about Iran.


ANDERSON: All right. That was the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. I want to get you to the White House now where moments ago, the foreign

minister from the UAE Abdullah bin Zayed met with President Trump. Let's have a listen to some of what was said.


TRUMP: Thank you very much. It's great to be with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of UAE, that's United Arab Emirates. And great friends of ours.

Fantastic friends.


And it's our honor to have you be leading the path, leading the way. Your country is a great country with a great leader and a warrior. And smart,

respected all over the world. So, this was a natural -- and having you be signing and doing the agreement today.

So, in 72 years they've done two agreements, and we've done two, as you know, in a period of a month. And I will say, because of your leadership

and because of the fact that you are leading the way, we have many countries in your region and your part of the world that will be very

quickly signing up also.

They, frankly, would have been here today if we wanted it to happen, but we'll be signing others, and this could really lead to peace, real peace in

the Middle East for the first time. We've taken a very different path. You could say it's a backdoor, but I call it a smart door, not a backdoor. I

call it a smart door.

And this was a -- a vision that I had a long time ago, and we had some incredible representatives, and I want to thank everybody here because your

representation was brilliant. We watched over the years as we were criticized for going this path, and it just all came together. And now the

same people that criticized -- well, they'll find something else to criticize, because I --


But we have other things happening that are very good, equally as good, very important worldwide, very, very important.

But it's an honor to have you here. And say hello to your family and your brother and all of those people that we so respect. Thank you very much.


We are humbled to represent a nation which is only 48 years old, but full of hope, and wants to attract more hope in our region. Our region has

suffered far too long, and we would like to show our people and our region and the world that there is some good news from our part of the world. I

mean, this is one, and all the good work we are -- we've been doing for decades, Mr. President, with your great nation. We've been the strongest

trading partner of the United States in the Middle East.

TRUMP: That's right.

AL NAHYAN: We want to continue doing so in all fields, and this is just a - - a clear message that more should be done between the United States and -- and the UAE. But now we can do it even with more nations, with Israel and

so many more.

TRUMP: That's true.

AL NAHYAN: Thank you, sir, for your leadership, and if it wasn't for that, it would have been far more difficult for of us -- all of us to achieve.

TRUMP: No, I understand that well. It was something we felt strongly about, and being friends with you, your brother, your family, you made it happen,

and we appreciate it, and I think your country appreciates it, and the world appreciates it, so thank you very much. It's really great.

Any questions, please?

QUESTION: What message would you like to tell us that we can take from today's event, sir?

TRUMP: Well, I think they see what's happening, and a lot of countries are joining up. And as you know, we don't make payments to them. We were paying

a lot to the Palestinians every year, and we were not being treated properly. They were not saying nice things for many years. And nobody's

ever done this before, but I stopped payment. It's a term that's used for a lot of things. It's called "We stopped payment" because if they're not

going to respect us or if they're not going to speak well of us, we're not going to be involved. They, I think, are seeing what's happening and we've

been given very strong signals that they'd like to be a part of what's happening.

So, I think we'll see the Palestinians at some point but before we see the Palestinians, we'll see other very important countries come into this

transaction. They'd be here today, frankly, if we wanted them. So, I think that you'll see some very great things happening in the Middle East.

You're going to have peace without blood in the sand. For years, you had blood in the sand -- that's all you had, blood in the sand, you got nothing

for it, they got nothing for it. Now you're going to have peace and it'll be a real peace.

And you have the most powerful countries, as an example -- this is a great warring nation, if it wants to be, with a tremendous military -- a powerful

military and they're really great warriors and it was very important that we had you and -- we've had great talks, as you know, with Saudi Arabia,

with the king, and I think he's going to be terrific, I think he's got a very open mind but I've had very personal talks with the king and the crown

prince and I think their mind is very open. They're very much -- I think they're going to come along really well.


So, it's an honor to be here, we're going to have a ceremony outside. And I just want to say that being the first, cause you were the first -- being

the first -- was very important that you be the first for us because you're leading a path, you're leading a way and it's something that people were

very surprised at.

I will say that even the biggest optimists were shocked when they heard about this transaction and shocked in a very positive way. So, I want to

thank you for making it all happen. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Mr. President, Iran has been very critical, as you know, of this agreement and we've seen some security incidents in the Middle East over

the last 24 hours. Will you be extending any security guarantees to those who have --

TRUMP: Yes, well we're working together. And we'll see what happens with Iran. I would say right after the election, within a period of a week,

maybe a month -- but within a period of a very short period -- within maybe -- I mean, literally a very short time you'll have Iran coming back and

saying, let's get this whole thing worked out.

Iran is suffering, Iran, unfortunately -- I don't want them to suffer but their economy is -- has tanked, they have a minus 27 GDP -- nobody's ever

heard of a number like that -- I think it's perhaps a record setter -- but they're down 27 percent and I think they want to make a deal but they'd

much rather deal with Sleepy Joe Biden than me because, you know, we're going to make a deal -- and I'll make a very fair deal.

And I even suggested wait until after the election, make yourself feel good -- wait until after the election. So, we'll see what happens with Iran. I

think Iran will end up being a part of a very large and very, very difficult part of the world.

Look, the Middle East has been a very complex, very difficult part of the world. We're making it easier, we're making it a lot simpler, but I think

right after our election, the American election, if we win, we'll have a deal with Iran -- I think we're going to make a deal with Iran.

QUESTION: Mr. President, when do you expect other countries in the region to follow the UAE's lead and normalize relations with Israel? And which

countries are -- are you targeting?

TRUMP: Well, I don't want to say the countries, but we have many of them and they'll be coming along rather rapidly, some before the election

perhaps, but a lot of them after. In that case, they won't be waiting for the election. I mean, it's just a question of getting it done.

They are very, very excited about being a part of this. Some would've been a part of it today, in my opinion, if we wanted to but we didn't want to

press it and we wanted to give you the dignity and respect because you were the first one -- you were the first one.

And we have Bahrain here, as you know, and Bahrain is signing today also -- but we have a list of who's who. They'll be signing the deal.


ANDERSON: All right. Well, you have been listening to Donald Trump there at the White House. That was a meeting with the foreign minister of the UAE,

Abdullah bin Zayed, ABZ as he is called locally.

Ahead of what will be the ceremony that you can see set up there on the south lawn to sign the Abraham Accords between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE.

Sam Kiley is joining me from here in Abu Dhabi. Peace without blood in the sand, says Donald Trump. His vision for the Middle East in the wake of

these deals to normalize relations between Israel and two Arab states. We have to be very clear here. Neither Bahrain or the UAE have ever of course

been at war with Israel. Sam?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, they haven't been at war with Israel and there's no evidence in the past they even supported

even covertly any kind of violence against Israel. But if we are being more charitable about what he's trying to achieve here.

And I think in a sense, the best guide to that comes from your interview with Anwar Gargash, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs here who said -

who repeated when it comes to the Palestinians, the old line that the Emirates is committed to two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the

capital of a future Palestine. Not endorsing the move at all of the U.S embassy to Jerusalem, for example.

So, I think he was very clear there that in the future he also made the point that he is going to have pressure points. That the more relations you

have with Israel, the more influence you are likely to have. It is going to be very interesting to see how relations develop after the election,

particularly if Joe Biden wins.

ANDERSON: Stand by, Sam. President Trump met with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inside the White House just moments ago. So,

let's just have a listen to some of that sound.



TRUMP: This was a special token of affection, given by myself and the first lady to the prime minister and the first lady of Israel. And it's a key --

we call it a key to the White House. And it's a key to our country and to our hearts. And you've been an amazing leader for a long period of time.

And this is -- this is, in many respects, the big day, because this is something that's very special.

We just left UAE and Bahrain. We're going to meet outside in a ceremony. And it's just a very important event. And it's an honor to have you with

us, Bibi. Thank you very much.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Thank you, Mr. President. And I have said -- and this is true -- that you have the key to the hearts of the

people of Israel because of all the great things you've done for the Jewish State and the Jewish people. So, thank you. Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you very much. Fantastic. And we look forward to being outside.

QUESTION: Mr. President --

TRUMP: Yes, please. Anybody?

QUESTION: Mr. President, this is a great event -- this is a great event, and these are tremendous achievements. Can you -- we know that Israel is

getting a lot. What is Israel giving back for this --

NETANYAHU: This is the Israeli press that wants to chip away at this.



TRUMP: Well, I think what, really, Israel is getting -- I think what Israel is getting and what we're all getting, but what Israel is getting more than

anything else is peace. They're going to have peace.

As you know, UAE -- United Arab Emirates -- is a great warring nation, a very powerful nation in the region. And they very much wanted to do this.

Mohammed is a tremendous leader, like Bibi is a tremendous leader. And it was important to have them first very early.

And, you know, the relationship is fantastic. And a lot of people are surprised to see it. And, as you know, we have Bahrain and we have many

nations ready to follow. Many nations.

QUESTION: Is Saudi Arabia going to be next?

QUESTION: Can you name them?

TRUMP: I can't -- no, not now, I won't. But you'll see. We'll be signing up other nations. And these are very strong agreements. These are very strong.

This is really peace. This is serious peace. And so, I think what Israel gets -- the most important thing that they're getting, by far, is peace.



TRUMP: Excuse me, one at a time, please.

NETANYAHU: Pick the other one.

TRUMP: Who? Which one?

NETANYAHU: See the woman in the white? The woman in the white.

TRUMP: In the white. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Yes. Thank you. Lital from Channel 20. Is it possible to know which countries will be following the Emirates?

TRUMP: Well, we'll be announce --

QUESTION: Will it be Saudi? Maybe Oman?

TRUMP: Yes, we're very far down the road with about five countries, five additional countries. Frankly, I think we could have had them here today.

We thought, out of respect, UAE -- they deserved it. And Bahrain came immediately after. They really wanted to do it. But we'll have at least

five or six countries coming along very quickly, and we're already talking to them.

And they want to see peace. You know, they've been fighting for a long time. They're tired. They're warring countries, but they're tired. They're

tired of fighting. And so, you're going to be seeing further announcements.

This is a -- you know, it's a very big day. I guess they said -- so there were two countries, over a 72-year period, and we did an additional two.

And these are great countries. We did an additional two in one month.

NETANYAHU: Twenty-nine days.

TRUMP: But you'll -- but you're going to see -- you're going to see a lot of very great activity. It's going to be peace in the Middle East.

QUESTION: Mr. President, will you promote the F-35 deal even if Israel objected?

TRUMP: Say it?

QUESTION: Will you promote the F-35 deal even if Israel objected?

TRUMP: Yes, we're going -- we're going to work that out. We'll work that out. That's - that's going to be an easy thing.

And, you know, we've fought with UAE four times -- four different wars. They've been very, very loyal to us. And we have a better relationship with

them now than we ever had in the past. In fact, in the past, it was very strained. We have a very good relationship with them. Yes, we'll -- all of

that works out. That's going to be very easy to work out.


QUESTION: Mr. President, should Israel feel less isolated today than they were this last week? And, Mr. Prime Minister, maybe you can answer that

question, as well.

TRUMP: Well, I think Israel is not isolated anymore because, I can tell you, we have the two countries, plus you had an additional two, as you

know, from many, many years ago. And now you have a situation where many of the countries -- and I can actually say "most" of the countries, but many

of the countries in the Middle East want to sign this deal.

And I think when that happens, hopefully after the election -- because I really believe Iran wants to make a deal. They've had a very tough time.

Their GDP is down 27 percent because of the sanctions and all of the other things. And I don't want that to happen. I don't want -- I want Iran to be

a great country, a great nation. I think that would be a wonderful thing.

But I think -- and I've even said that. I've said that the representatives of them: "You should wait to see the election, first." There is nothing

they or China or, probably, Russia would like better than to have Sleepy Joe Biden become the President, because if Sleepy Joe won, they would own

the United States, all of them. China would own the United States.


So, I told all of them, I said, wait until after the election. But after the election, we have to make a better deal. I do say that. We're going to

make a better deal than we would have.

But, with Iran, they certainly should wait until after the election because, frankly, if Biden wins, they'll make a much better deal. But I'm

going to make a good deal with Iran. I'm going to make a deal that's great for Iran. It's going to get them back.

We're going to help them in every way possible. And Iran will be very happy. Iran will be very rich and very quickly. But I think they should

wait until after the election. You understand what I mean by that. Because a dream for those countries would be Sleepy Joe.

QUESTION: Do you believe you will also broker a deal with the Palestinians?

TRUMP: Say it.

QUESTION: Do you believe you will also broker a deal with the Palestinians?

TRUMP: Yes, I think they'd come along, and they're already -- obviously, we speak to them. They've come a long way. We used to pay them $750 million a

year when I got here.

And I said to people that negotiated with them before, why did you pay when they treat the United States with such disrespect? They speak so badly.

Death to America. Death to Israel. I said, we give them $750 million a year. I said, why didn't somebody cut off those payments? Well, we didn't

think it would be appropriate. I said, Well, I do. And I cut off the payments to them, as you know.

But other countries give them money. You're dealing with very rich countries. And these countries are now all signing with us. They're all be

signed with us -- all of them.

I spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia. We had a great conversation, and I think positive things will happen there, too. He's a great gentleman. And

the Crown Prince -- we spoke with the Crown Prince.

So, we've made tremendous strides. And this is peace in the Middle East without blood all over the sand. I say it: Right now, it's been blood all

over the sand for -- for decades and decades and decades. That's all they do, is they fight and kill people, and nobody gets anything.

And this is -- this is strong peace, really strong peace, far -- and it's a different way. We went in the back door, but I call it going in the very

smart door. We went in the smart door, and we're getting people. And the Palestinians will absolutely be a member. I don't say that with any

bravado. I just tell you the Palestinians will be a member at the right time. At the right time.

QUESTION: Will they have a state of their selves in your peace?

TRUMP: We're -- we're working a deal. We're talking -- we are talking to the Palestinians. At the right time, they'll be joining, too.

QUESTION: And as long as you are president, is annexation off the table? Is that something the Emirates know?

TRUMP: We don't want to talk about that right now, but that's working out very well and very fair and very good for the people that are coming in and

for Israel.

And again, Israel wants peace, and they're a great warring nation if they have to be. You see that. They have the best equipment; they have the best

of everything, but they don't want this. After all of these years, even Bibi gets tired of war.


But they've been, you know -- look, they're a strong nation, a strong power, a strong military nation, but they want to get on with their lives.

Israel wants peace. They really want peace. And I give this gentleman a great deal of credit. He's done a great job.

NETANYAHU: Thank you. Mr. President, I heard a question from one of the people here. Does Israel feel isolated? Heck no. We're breaking out to the

entire world because we have a strong, free economy, because we have a strong military, and because we have a strong relationship with the

president of the United States and the American people.

And I can tell you that we have a strong relationship throughout the Middle East. The President intimated how many countries are waiting to join the

circle of peace. You know, Israel doesn't feel isolated at all. It's enjoying the greatest diplomatic triumph of its history.

I think the people who feel isolated are the tyrants of Tehran because of the pressure that the President has applied on them, because of the

resistance to this bad Iran deal. They are under pressure. And, you know, I hope they'll all come around. I hope everyone will come around to the

circle of peace. But, no, we don't feel isolated at all. Quite the contrary.

TRUMP: I would say this. There's less isolation right now for Israel than there's ever been. I mean, today, they would be less isolated than ever


I want to just thank your great Ambassador. Ron, thank you very much.


TRUMP: How do you feel about isolation? I think you're starting to see the light, huh?

DERMER: I can imagine what will happen when everyone is courting Israel, if this is what isolation looks like.


TRUMP: Yes. No, it's good. We -- we love Israel. And I'll tell you what: I have great respect for the countries that have stepped up so beautifully.

And you're going to see that in a little while. We're having a ceremony.

And thank you all for being here. Thank you very much.


ANDERSON: That was moments ago, Donald Trump with the Israeli prime minister in discussions ahead of what will be history being made at the

White House today. Israel will sign agreements to normalize relations, not just one but two Arab nations.


The United Arab Emirates, where I'm based, and the small Kingdom of Bahrain. The Bahraini delegation and the UAE delegation arriving in the

past hour or so at the White House. These diplomatic deals have been brokered by Donald Trump.

For decades a key broker in the Middle East agreements, the U.S. of course, they are back in the spotlight. Sam Kiley joining us now from Abu Dhabi

here as we await the official signing of these Abraham Accords. Your thoughts on what you just heard from the U.S. president.

KILEY: Well, you are absolutely right. I mean first thing to takeaway or to be aware of is that this is about to be an historic moment. Not quite as

historic as the handshake in the Rose Garden with Arafat. Not the deal with Jordan or Egypt. Because those were about ending conflicts.

None of these countries have been in conflict with Israel. But they have been in conflict with the idea of Israel in large part, particularly when

it came to the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Now, in the future I think what's going to be absolutely key is who wins the election. In the short-term it is very, very clear, as Anwar Gargash

pointed out to you in that key interview, Becky, that by having relations, Arab nations when it comes to talking to Israel will have influence. They

will have financial pressure points. They will have diplomatic pressure points. They will have a whole series of bilateral exchanges that

normalization means, wherever that is in the world.

That gives a voice to the Arab world that is otherwise very much in the distant rhetoric, leaving the Palestinians to, in his words, empty chair

the Americans, if you like at negotiations. By that, he means stay away from negotiations. And also, to stick to the age-old slogans.

These deals now break up that paradigm. It is going to break up the notion for Israel as Benjamin Netanyahu there saying he doesn't feel in any way

isolated. That's an extraordinary statement to make for an Israeli prime minister. Normally this is a paranoid small nation saying that the rest of

the world, the media Arab world is a Guinness.

Now he is saying join the circle of peace, and that circle of peace is going to expand. If a confident Israel can feel this would be the argument

in favor of this diplomacy. They sense that it can survive in what has been a hostile neighborhood. It might conceivably be a bit more inclined to be a

little softer on the Palestinians.

But all of that is going to depend really on who wins the next election. Because I think what is very clear from Mr. Gargash is that's the kind of

what has been described as the apartheid type - blood types ink blot nation that the American peace proposal at the moment would offer the Palestinians

is really not on the cards or on the table.

But that's not the only reason as he points out for these absolutely extraordinary moments with different countries likely to be joining. Donald

Trump hinting there could be five lining up across the Sunni world. A world that has been badly destabilized by Iran it has to be said.

ANDERSON: Stay with us, Sam. Our colleague John Harwood is joining us from the White House. And John, I have been listening to a lot of the UAE

diplomats talking about how this provides a new paradigm, people are tired of the old narrative they have said in this region.

I mean you talked to a lot of the youngsters quite frankly, you hear that echoed in a lot of places. That does not dismiss the fact that certainly

Palestinian leadership, if not, many Palestinians on the ground feel very betrayed by what they will be witnessing today.

As Gargash pointed out to me, though in the UAE, empty chairing the Americans and the Israelis when it comes to peace negotiations by the

Palestinians is just no longer works. That's what they are saying.

Look. We are here. We are watching what will be an historic signing. We are waiting for the characters involved, that being the foreign ministers of

Bahrain and of the UAE, the Israeli prime minister, and of course the U.S. president. And we are witnessing a crowd, an audience here. Most of who are

-- it has to be said, John, not social distancing and many of whom are not wearing masks.

HARWOOD: That's right. And it's consistent with President Trump's desire to behave as if the coronavirus pandemic is no longer raging through the

country, which it is.


He has been having mask less rallies over the last couple of days with his supporters packed into indoor spaces. We all recall that in June the last

time before the last few days he had done an indoor rally. Multiple Secret Service agents and advance staffers for the president got sick with COVID.

One of his supporters - prominent supporters former presidential candidate Herman Cain was hospitalized for COVID two weeks later ended up passing

away. So, the president is not chastened by that. He resumed those events and he is sustaining that style in this event on the south lawn of the

White House today.

ANDERSON: And we continue to await the arrival of those who will be signing these historic documents. The Abraham Accords. Certainly, again, from the

UAE the hope is that this will chart new opportunities, hope, prosperity for the region. I know I have still got Sam Kiley with me. John Harwood is

there in Washington.

John, you have been around a long time in Washington. You have probably forgotten more about what goes on in that city than most of us will ever

know. When you consider these images today, just put them in context for us, if you will.

HARWOOD: Well, I think the imagery is positive for the president. With the backdrop of the White House, to bring statesmen from other countries in and

sign a -- what is called a peace agreement even though it is not a comprehensive one. That is a positive step for the president. In

substantive terms I think experts on the Middle East agree that the deal itself is positive for the region. That is normalization of relations

between Israel and UAE and Bahrain. That is -- those are good things. Those are a step forward.

But what they are not is the kind of comprehensive peace deal that America has been trying to broker for decades between Israel and the Palestinians.

This leaves the Palestinians marginalized and off to the side. If Joe Biden wins the election, which polls tell us is more likely than not, this

paradigm is not going to be the one that Joe Biden pursues.

You are going to see a Democratic Party, while standing with Israel, not standing with it in the way that President Trump has and looking to be more

of an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians. So, we don't know whether this paradigm has a half-life of three months or somewhat longer

than that if President Trump manages to come from behind and win reelection.

ANDERSON: John Harwood is in Washington. And the audience here has just risen, which would suggest, it seems, that the signing ceremony -- historic

signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain is just about to start.

This is the South Lawn of the White House. And the first ladies of Israel and the United States now approaching the audience to witness and attend

the ceremony for the historic signing of these documents. So, I'm just going to let you absorb these pictures for a moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States, accompanied by the prime minister of the state of Israel. His

highness, the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates and the minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom

of Bahrain.


TRUMP: Thank you very much. Please. Thank you.

The first lady and I are honored to welcome to the White House Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and Mrs. Netanyahu.

Thank you so much. Thank you.



And Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, United Arab Emirates, the UAE.

Thank you very much.

And Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani of Bahrain.

Thank you. Thank you very much.


TRUMP: We're here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East.

Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries, we take a major stride toward a future in which people of all faiths and

backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity.

In a few moments, these visionary leaders will sign the first two peace deals between Israel and the Arab state in more than a quarter century. In

Israel's entire history, there have previously been only two such agreements. Now we have achieved two in a single month and there are more

to follow.


Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain will establish embassies, exchange ambassadors and begin the cooperate -- and work together so

strongly to cooperate as partners across the broad range of sectors, from tourism to trade and health care to security. They're going to work

together, they are friends.

The Abraham Accords also open the door for Muslims around the world to visit the historic sites in Israel and to peacefully pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque

in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam.


Together, these agreements will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region, something which nobody thought was

possible, certainly not in this day and age, maybe in many decades from now, but one founded on shared interests, mutual respect and friendship.

To our honored guests from Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, congratulations on this outstanding achievement -- congratulations.


Fantastic. I also want to thank Vice President Mike Pence -- thank you, Mike, great job.


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- Mike, thank you very much.


National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien -- Robert, thank you.


Mr. Jared Kushner -- Jared, thank you very much.


Ambassador Brian Hook -- thank you very much, Brian.


Thank you -- thank you. And Avi Berkowitz -- Avi, thank you very much.


I also want to give a very special thanks -- he's been an incredible ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.


That's a very great group of people, great group of patriots. They wanted this to happen so badly, they worked so hard and again, nobody thought it

could happen and they thought it could happen. They never even doubted it. So, I want to thank you all very much. Thank you.


TRUMP: For generations, the people of the Middle East have been held back by old conflicts, hostilities, lies, treacheries, so many things held them

back. Actually, lies that the Jews and Arabs were enemies and that Al-Aqsa Mosque was under attack -- constantly they would say it's under attack.

These lies passed down from generation to generation, fueled a vicious cycle of terror and violence that spread across the region and all over the


These agreements prove that the nations of the region are breaking free from the failed approaches of the past. Today's signing sets history on a

new course and there will be other countries very, very soon that will follow these great leaders.