“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Matthew 5:9 NIV

Olive branches are being extended on both sides of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-Israel peace agreement. The implementation of this deal could have a significant impact on Middle East politics – from the Palestinian issue to dealing with Iran.

And speaking of Iran, the U.S formally notified the United Nations of its demand for all UN sanctions on Iran to be restored. This stirred up the UN Security Council, with two members calling the U.S. move illegal.

Here are a few news stories to give you more information on these hot topics.

Netanyahu makes first appearance on UAE TV after historic peace agreement

Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participated in an unprecedented interview on Emirati television. He spoke confidently about other Arab countries seeking to follow the UAE’s lead and build ties with Israel.

Speaking of the suspension of the annexation of parts of the West Bank, Netanyahu said the Trump administration asked him for this concession.

“Well, this was an American request, for a moment, to suspend the application of Israeli law, and we agreed,” he said. “The Americans told us that they wanted to expand the framework of peace, and that is our highest priority right now: expanding the circle of peace.”

Also last week, Yossi Cohen, Director of Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel, who played a key role in brokering the peace deal, met with Tahnoun bin Zayed, the National Security Advisor of UAE, in Abu Dhabi.

The two leaders discussed “opening new horizons of cooperation between the two countries in various fields,” as well as how to combat the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement, the New York Post reported.

The UAE becomes the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to have full diplomatic ties with Israel.

President of Israel invites UAE’s de facto leader to Jerusalem

“In these fateful days, leadership is measured by its courage and ability to be groundbreaking and far-sighted,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin wrote in a letter to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto leader of the UAE.

“On behalf of the people of Israel and (me) personally, I take this opportunity to extend an invitation to Your Highness to visit Israel and Jerusalem and be our honored guest,” Rivlin said in the letter, which his spokesman released publicly.

“I am hopeful,” Rivlin’s letter continued, “that this step will help build and strengthen the trust between us and the peoples of the region, a trust that will promote understanding between us all. Such trust, as demonstrated in the noble and courageous act, will set our region forward, bring economic well-being and provide prosperity and stability to the people of the Middle East as a whole.”

Trump administration seeks to capitalize on momentum from historic peace deal

This week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to visit Israel, Sudan, Bahrain and the UAE. The Trump administration wants to capitalize on the momentum from the historic peace agreement between Israel and the UAE.

Pompeo will discuss ties between Israel and Sudan during meetings with Sudanese leaders, the U.S. State Department said, according to The Times of Israel.

Netanyahu hosted Pompeo on Monday and is confident other countries will soon follow the UAE in making peace with Israel. Those could include Sudan, Bahrain, Oman and Morocco.  

Israel officials have long desired better relations with Sudan, in particular, citing its importance in the region and its geographic location.

U.S. demands restoration of UN sanctions against Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Kelly Kraft, formally requested that the UN reimpose sanctions on Iran. The request cited significant Iranian violations of the 2015 nuclear deal, a requirement to “snapback” UN sanctions.

The UN Security Council rejected an American proposal to extend the arms embargo on Iran, which is set to expire on October 18. That’s what initiated this decision to invoke the snapback mechanism.

Eleven out of 15 members of the council abstained in the vote to extend the arms embargo. Russia and China opposed the measure. The U.S. and the Dominican Republic supported it.

Gilad Erdan, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, said reimposing the UN sanctions on Iran is a critical step to curbing Iranian aggression, which threatens the entire world, according to The Jerusalem Post.

“The Security Council should not allow the world’s largest terror regime to obtain and trade lethal weapons and ballistic missiles freely,” said Erdan. “Nor should it pave the way for Iran to fulfill its nuclear ambitions. Now is the time for the international community to act decisively and impose crippling sanctions on Iran. Not to reward its malicious aspirations.”

Let us pray together

With conversations and meetings taking place this week that could have a significant impact on peace in the Middle East, please pray with me for:

  • The peace agreement between Israel and the UAE to be the first of more opportunities for peace with Arab countries – possibly including Oman, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan
  • The UN Security Council to make wise decisions regarding reimposing sanctions on Iran
  • The new cooperation between Israel and the UAE in battling the coronavirus to lead to new, effective treatments, more accurate and rapid testing and a vaccine
  • Jewish people to take notice of this historic peace agreement and put their trust in their Messiah Jesus

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