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MS ORTAGUS:  All right.  Go ahead.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So I was just part of a conversation between the President and Prime Minister Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed MBZ from the United Arab Emirates, where they announced something we’ve been working on for quite some time, which is the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.  This is an enormous historic step forward.  It’s the first time in two and a half decades, so Egypt, Jordan, and now the United Arab Emirates has recognized Israel.

We hope this provides a good foundation for building on the vision for peace that the President has laid out, and I wanted to just thank all the participants – the Emiratis, the Israelis, and all of the team on the United States side – that brought this to fruition.  It’s good news.  It’s a really – real good piece of good news for the Middle East, and we’re excited about that.

MS ORTAGUS:  All right.  And wait – we’re about to take off.  Anybody have something quick?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Quick question, yeah, before –

MS ORTAGUS:  Any – go ahead.

QUESTION:  How long have you been working on this?  Can you give us any details on how it came together?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So it’s been many years, right, obviously, that this has been in works, but certainly over the last few months we’ve been working diligently to find a place where everyone could get comfortable that this was the right way to move forward, to make sure we had security for Israel and that the Emiratis got the things that made sense where this was in the best interest of every nation, not only those two but all the nations in the Middle East.

MS ORTAGUS:  Quickly, any —

QUESTION:  Is this contingent on —

QUESTION:  What message does this send to the —

QUESTION:  —  no annexation in the West Bank?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  You’ll see – there’ll be a signing at the White House.  I don’t know exactly when it’ll be.  There’ll be more details released then.  I’m not sure exactly when that’s going be, but there’s a plan for them to happen.

MS ORTAGUS:  Quickly.

QUESTION:  What message is this sending to the Middle Eastern peace and stability?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  That peace is the right path forward and that the Trump Administration’s vision for peace provides a good foundation for all of the countries of the Middle East to join together, to come together, and end this historic challenge that there has been.  I hope the Palestinians will see this for what it is as well, a historic opportunity for the Middle East to be stable and peaceful.

MS ORTAGUS:  All right.  We’re going to – we’re in the air.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  All right.  Thank you, everybody.


U.S. Department of State

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