The agreement for relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is a "dramatic breakthrough" that will make the Middle East safer and means fewer American troops will need to be in the region, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who was part of the team orchestrating the agreement, said Friday.
"When President [Donald] Trump got into office, ISIS had a caliphate the size of Ohio and a lot of violence and terrorism," said Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, in a "CBS This Morning" interview. "President Trump has gotten very tough, because his priority is protecting American citizens."
He rejected arguments the deal was "symbolic," as it was the "first peace agreement in 26 years. That's not symbolic, that's concrete."
Kushner later told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" the deal has been in the works for some time, but over the last year, Trump outlined a detailed vision for peace that showed Israel he understood their security needs and showed the Palestinian people he had a pathway to make their lives better.
"He then brokered a deal with two great leaders who both saw that the region would gain much more by having people focus on shared interests," Kushner said. "You have two countries that are both technology powerhouses. They are economic powerhouses and security powerhouses. Bringing them together will make the region much stronger and gives people the opportunity to live a much better life."
According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal puts pressure on Saudi Arabia to also come to an agreement on Israel, and Kushner said the administration has been "very pleased" with many of the Saudis' actions over the past 3 years.
"They are the custodian of the holy mosque and leader of the Muslim world," Kushner said. "We'll continue to work with Saudi Arabia around common objectives, not old grievances."
However, he would not confirm there is a similar deal in the works with Saudi Arabia.
"We've kept our cards to the vest and built real relationships and trust," he said. "I won't betray that trust."
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