Main safety companions: US hails Bahrain, UAE after Israel deal

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White Home assertion ties designation to normalisation cope with Israel, saying it mirrored ‘extraordinary braveness’.

The US known as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates “main safety companions” on Saturday, a beforehand extraordinary designation for the 2 international locations residence to main American navy operations.

Individually, President Donald Trump acquired Morocco’s highest honour on Friday for his work in advancing a normalisation deal between the dominion and Israel.

A White Home assertion tied the “main safety companions” designation of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to normalising ties with Israel, saying it “displays their extraordinary braveness, willpower and management”. It additionally famous the 2 international locations have lengthy taken half in US navy workouts.

It was unclear what the designation means for Bahrain, an island kingdom off Saudi Arabia within the Gulf, and the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms residence to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Bahrain is residence to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, whereas the UAE’s Jebel Ali port is the busiest port of name for American warships outdoors of the US. Bahrain hosts some 5,000 American troops whereas the UAE hosts 3,500, many at Al-Dhafra Air Base.

The US makes use of the designation of “main non-NATO ally” to explain its relationship with Kuwait, which hosts the ahead command of US Military Central. That designation grants a rustic particular monetary and navy concerns for nations not a part of NATO. Bahrain is also a non-NATO ally.

The US navy’s Central Command and the Pentagon didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. The Fifth Fleet referred queries to the State Division, which didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The White Home designation comes within the closing days of Trump’s administration. The president solid shut ties to Gulf Arab international locations throughout his time in workplace partially over his hardline stance on Iran. That has sparked a sequence of escalating incidents between the international locations after Trump unilaterally withdrew from Iran’s nuclear cope with world powers.

It additionally comes after Bahrain and the UAE joined Egypt and Saudi Arabia in starting to resolve a years-long boycott of Qatar, one other Gulf Arab nation residence to Al Udeid Air Base that hosts US Central Command’s ahead working base. That boycott started within the early days of Trump’s time in workplace after he visited Saudi Arabia on his first overseas journey.

Israel-Morocco deal

Morocco is considered one of 4 Arab international locations, together with the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, to have agreed to normalise ties with Israel.

A senior administration official was quoted as saying a personal ceremony was held within the Oval Workplace the place Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui, Morocco’s ambassador to the US, gave Trump the Order of Muhammad, an award given solely to heads of state. The award was a present from Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.

White Home senior adviser Jared Kushner and Center East envoy Avi Berkowitz acquired different awards for his or her work on the Israel-Morocco deal, which was reached in December.

Trump, who leaves workplace on Wednesday, has drawn some criticism over the Morocco settlement as a result of to seal the deal, he agreed the US would recognise Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Western Sahara has been the location of a decades-old territorial dispute between Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Entrance, a breakaway motion that seeks to ascertain an unbiased state within the territory.

The Kushner workforce had been engaged on reaching extra agreements between Israel and the Arab world. However time has run out and no extra are anticipated earlier than Trump’s departure.

Media weren’t allowed to witness the Moroccan award ceremony. Trump has been limiting his public appearances since shedding the election on November 3.