U.S. President Donald Trump will hold a Sept. 15 signing ceremony for a groundbreaking Middle East agreement normalizing relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, a senior White House official said on Tuesday.
As part of the deal, announced at the White House on Aug. 13 following what officials said were 18 months of talks, the Gulf state agreed to normal relations with Israel, while Israel agreed to continue with plans to suspend its annexation of the West Bank.
The senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, would lead the two delegations to the ceremony.
Netanyahu said Tuesday night that he was "proud" to be taking part in the ceremony, calling it the foundation of the treaty between the two countries.
Trump and other administration officials have said they expect Saudi Arabia and other countries to follow suit in recognizing Israel.
Iran has dismissed the agreement, which also served to firm up opposition to Tehran, a regional power seen by the UAE, Israel and the United States as the main threat in the Middle East.
The deal falls short of any grand Middle East peace plan to resolve decades of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians despite Trump's pledge to do so with efforts led by his White House aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
An Emirati source said Monday that the Gulf nation is planning to make its first official visit to Israel on Sept. 22 to build up the countries' agreement to normalize relations.
The trip, which has yet to be finalized, will come in reciprocation of a groundbreaking trip to Abu Dhabi last week by senior Israeli and U.S. envoys, the source said.
The source said the UAE was expected to finalize the trip after the date was announced for the ceremony to sign the normalization accord.