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Israel, UAE Deal ‘Breaking The Ice’ for Other Gulf Countries

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Israel and the United Arab Emirates have normalized diplomatic ties in a deal brokered by the Trump administration and the announcement came Thursday.

The last time there was an agreement of this magnitude, it was in 1994 when Jordan and Israel signed a joint peace agreement, President Trump’s Senior Advisor Jared Kushner noted during a Thursday news conference after the deal was announced.

It’s certainly the start to peace in the Middle East and Kushner made it clear that the UAE would be the first, but not the last country to make such a momentous deal with Israel.

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“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” a joint statement by President Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamad Binh Zayed Al Nahyan released Thursday read.

They added, “All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement.”

As part of the deal, Israel has agreed to “suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.” That was at the request of the UAE.

“The region has witnessed many political initiatives and stations from Camp David to Madrid to Oslo, Wye River, Annapolis and others, and we are seeking today for Israel to freeze the annexation of Palestinian lands as a new opportunity to revive peace,” said Anwar Gargash, UAE’s Minister for Foreign Affairs

Last month, a UAE official said that the annexation of parts of the West Bank, part of Trump’s plan, would hold up the prospect for peace with the Gulf state and urged Israel not to move forward with the plan.

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President Trump told reporters Thursday that the deal will include establishing embassies and ambassadors, creating tourism channels, and creating trade, security, and educational ties.

“By uniting two of America’s most closest and capable partners in the region, something which said could not be done, this deal is a significant step towards building a more peaceful, secure and prosperous Middle East. Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead,” Trump said.

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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap

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Joe Biden

President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.

According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.

In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were  “wrongfully detained.”  He said the American’s  would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.

Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.

The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.

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