An unprecedented political earthquake is shaking the Arab and Islamic world, measuring a 9.5 on the geopolitical Richter scale.
Its epicenter is Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
But its shock waves are being felt throughout the Middle East, North Africa and around the world.
UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed’s decision on Aug. 13, to make full peace and sign a normalization treaty with the State of Israel is the most important and far-reaching decision made by any Arab leader since Osama bin Laden decided to attack the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
MBZ’s courage and vision quickly persuaded Bahrain’s King Hamad to also make full peace and sign his own normalization treaty with Israel.
Both signed these historic documents on the South Lawn of the White House on Sept. 15.
In “normal” times, these two peace deals would be enough to last a generation. But these are far from normal times.
U.S. President Donald Trump said that more Arab leaders will follow the UAE and Bahrain soon, and that the U.S. is helping midwife the deals.
“We’ll have at least five or six countries coming along very quickly,” Trump said last week. “They want to see peace. They’ve been fighting for a long time….They’re warring countries but they’re tired of fighting. You’re going to see a lot of very great activity. It’s going to be peace in the Middle East….most of the countries… in the Middle East want to sign this deal.”
Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., seemed to confirm this trajectory towards peace last week when he told the Jewish Insider that by the time he leaves his diplomatic posting in January, Israel will have signed “at least two more peace treaties” with Arab countries.
Which Arab countries are most likely in the queue?
- Saudi Arabia
A 10.0 earthquake will occur when Saudi Arabia agrees to full peace with Israel. I would not rule this out before the Nov. 3 elections in the U.S., though a number of analysts think the Saudis are more likely to wait until several more Arab countries go first.
Oman is a strong possibility to announce its readiness to normalize relations with Israel soon given that it welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to the Sultanate in October 2018.
At the moment, however, there are signs that Sudan may go next.
“U.S., Emirati and Sudanese officials will hold a decisive meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday on a possible normalization agreement between Sudan and Israel,” Sudanese sources told Israeli diplomatic reporter Barak Ravid.
“If the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates accommodate Sudan’s requests for economic aid, an announcement on a normalization agreement with Israel similar to the ones struck with the UAE and Bahrain could be made within days, sources briefed on the process tell me.”
“Israel is following Monday’s meeting very closely,” Ravid added. “Since the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan last February in Uganda, both countries continued quiet talks on the possibility of normalization.”
“The issue of normalization between Sudan and Israel was raised last Tuesday in a meeting in Washington between Netanyahu and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Israel has been encouraging the Trump administration to adhere to Sudan’s request for economic aid as part of any normalization deal.”
Because of COVID-19 and the health and economic devastation that it has caused around the world, 2020 has been a very grim year.
But game-changing peace deals that once seemed unthinkable are suddenly changing everything.
The eyes of the nations are on the Arab world — because of peace, not war.
What other surprises lie ahead?
Stay tuned — this is exactly the dynamic for which ALL ARAB NEWS was launched.