UAE, Bahrain officials express support for Trump amid MidEast concerns

"We hope for Trump's victory, but we are also preparing for the possibility of a new president entering the Oval Office in the White House."

L to R: Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed participate in the signing of the Abraham Accords. September 15, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/TOM BRENNER)
L to R: Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed participate in the signing of the Abraham Accords. September 15, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/TOM BRENNER)
Officials from the UAE and Bahrain have expressed support for US President Donald Trump in the upcoming US presidential elections, amid concerns of what a change in the White House could mean for the Middle East, Israel Hayom reported on Saturday night.
"We have one eye on the US elections. We hope for Trump's victory, but we are also preparing for the possibility of a new president entering the Oval Office in the White House," a senior Emirati diplomat told Israel Hayom.
A senior Bahraini official also told the paper that moderate Arab states are concerned that Trump will be defeated and that Democratic candidate Joe Biden will implement policy changes in the Middle East.
"There are preparations in case the administration changes and the administration's policy in the Middle East changes from end to end. However, in both scenarios there is no concern about the agreements signed so far with Israel," the Bahraini official said. "In fact, Biden's victory may pave the way for a stronger alliance with Israel, with the understanding that we are interdependent and do not need constant backing from the Americans."
While no other normalization agreements are expected before the elections, talks with other countries are continuing in the meantime, the Bahraini official said.
"Negotiations to try and get more Arab countries to sign normalization of relations with Israel are intensifying, but if there is an agreement, it will be implemented only after the US election and in accordance with the winner's identity," the official told Israel Hayom.
"If Trump wins, there will be a flood of moderate Arab and Muslim countries that are very interested in taking part in the process that the Middle East is going through," added the Bahraini official. "A victory for Biden will mean that many countries that are currently in talks and explorations about the possibility of normalizing their relations will take a step back and recalculate the risk they are taking."
"The current level of relations and interests in the region is that Israel and the United States mediate between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the Emirates that boycott it due to its ties to Iran and extremist Islamic terrorist organizations," said the official.
A Saudi official told Israel Hayom that, despite speculations Saudi Arabia would normalize relations with Israel before the elections in order to help Trump's chances or to establish facts on the ground in case he loses, the kingdom is not currently planning on taking any such steps.
"I have seen these speculations. There is nothing behind them – and whoever presents them as a possibility understands nothing and a half in regional politics. Saudi Arabia supports the Abraham Accords and encourages other countries to take part in the process – but Riyadh also has its [own] very clear considerations, and a key consideration is the Palestinian issue," said the official.
"Saudi Arabia will not quickly abandon the Arab peace initiative it has devised. The agreement with Saudi Arabia will come, but in its own time."
In October, The Jerusalem Post learned that Mossad director Yossi Cohen has said in closed conversations that a normalization announcement between Israel and Saudi Arabia is close and there could be major developments following the US presidential elections depending on who wins.
If Trump wins re-election, there could be an almost immediate announcement.
Yet, if as the polls suggest, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the election, though the Saudis would still want a normalization deal with Israel, there would not necessarily be a clear timeline.
Cohen had emphasized that the Saudis did not want to give a gift to Trump and then get nothing for it upon a Biden administration taking over the reins.
Yonah Jeremy Bob and Aaron Reich contributed to this report.