Former Trump adviser says technique was to bypass Palestinians, isolate Iran and construct political capital with Gulf states.
The Trump administration determined to go across the Palestinians to forge normalisation agreements final 12 months between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, a former Trump official mentioned.
Robert O’Brien, nationwide safety adviser to former President Donald Trump, mentioned the Trump administration sought to construct “political capital” with Israel first by transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognising Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
“We couldn’t allow the Palestinians to stand as a roadblock to a broader Middle East peace,” O’Brien mentioned, describing for the primary time since leaving workplace the technique behind Trump’s diplomatic strikes.
“So we went to our friends and partners and allies and we built political capital. And one way we built political capital in Israel was by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, one way we did it was by recognising the Golan Heights, as Israeli territory,” O’Brien mentioned.
Former President Trump solid normalisation agreements referred to as the “Abraham Accords” between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in September 2020. Additional agreements had been reached to incorporate Morocco in December and Sudan in January.
Trump had introduced in 2017 the US would transfer its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem because the capital of Israel. The transfer was celebrated in Israel however broadly condemned elsewhere as detrimental to internationally supported Palestinian pursuits.
Trump unilaterally recognised Israeli sovereignty over the Golan in 2019, contravening worldwide legislation. Israel had seized the territory from Syria within the Six Day War of 1967.
“These were facts that were never going to change on the ground. Jerusalem was never going to change being the capital of Israel. Israel was never going to give the Golan Heights back to Assad or any other regime in Syria,” O’Brien mentioned.
“We did the same thing. We built political capital with Bahrain, with Morocco with the UAE by letting them know that we would stand with them, by getting out of” the Iran nuclear deal “which was a serious threat to the region”, O’Brien mentioned.
The 2015 United Nations-backed Iran settlement was “providing the Iranian regime with so much money, so many funds, to export their revolutionary ideology,” O’Brien mentioned.
Trump unilaterally withdrew In 2018 from the Iran nuclear settlement which had been negotiated by his predecessor President Barack Obama. Now, President Biden is transferring to open negotiations with Iran to revive the settlement.
“We then took that capital and used it to bring the parties together and to see if we could bring them to some sort of accord, which we did,” O’Brien mentioned.
O’Brien’s remarks got here throughout a panel dialogue hosted by the US Institute for Peace in Washington that included President Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
Other Arab states are prone to be part of the Abraham Accords as they see financial advantages and the brand new relations ought to enable the US to attract down some its army forces within the area, O’Brien mentioned.
Among the advantages, O’Brien mentioned the accords ought to enable Israeli entrepreneurs to lift capital from Arab sovereign wealth funds.
“It boxes China out of Israel’s tech sector to some extent, which is something I looked at very carefully,” O’Brien mentioned.
Biden adviser Sullivan mentioned the brand new administration intends to construct on the Abraham Accords. The new president is “thinking about how we make sure that the seeds that have been planted actually grow into the kind of full cooperation” that has been promised, he mentioned.
Separately, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had advised the US Senate on January 19 the Biden administration can be taking a detailed take a look at the incentives Trump had supplied the UAE and Bahrain to enter the accords.
O’Brien mentioned he nonetheless hoped for a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians and prompt different Arab states like Saudi Arabia would take part future.
“We weren’t able to get the Palestinians. I wish we had been. But there are a number of carrots and sticks that’ll bring them to the table,” O’Brien mentioned, including that he thinks European nations will assist once they “see the success” of the Abraham Accords.