Kissinger, who was secretary of state under the Nixon and Ford administrations, made the comments throughout a seminar from the Richard Nixon Foundation focused on national security and foreign policy on March 3.
Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), and former deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger likewise took part in the seminar.
Kissinger likened Donald Trump’s diplomatic accomplishments in the Middle East to Nixon’s opening of China in 1972, and cautioned that the Biden administration should maintain the tough Trump policy on Iran.
He further called the Trump administration’s Abraham Accords a breakthrough in Arab-Israeli relations.
“I think that one of the great successes of the previous administration was that they had lined up, that they had achieved two things in the Middle East,” Kissinger announced.
“One, to separate the Palestinian problem from all of the other problems so that it did not become a veto over everything else.
He continued: “Secondly, of lining up the Sunni states in actual or potential combination against the Shiite states, which is Iran, that was developing a capacity to threaten them. I think that this was a brilliant concept. We were just at the beginning of it.”
The Abraham Accords, brokered by former President Donald Trump, set new cooperation and normalization between the United States, Israel, and Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sudan, and Morocco.
It further opened up economic, social, and cultural relations between the Arab world and the Jewish state and strengthened the Gulf states’ and Israel’s defenses against Iran, winning the former president Nobel Peace Prize nominations.
“This was a brilliant concept. We were just at the beginning of it. It was like the beginning of the China opening. The evolution of it was just beginning,” Kissinger announced.
Kissinger pressed the Biden administration to maintain the current policy in the Middle East cemented by Trump.
“We should not give up the pressures that exist on Iran until we know where they are heading,” Kissinger said. “If we break out the Iranian issue from the overall Middle Eastern issue, we run the risk of losing the two achievements, namely of separating the Palestinian issue, which removes it as a veto over everything else, and the Sunni cooperation with Israel, which is unique in its openness.”
Elsewhere during Wednesday’s seminar, Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo likened Trump’s “unique” approach to international affairs and foreign policy to President Nixon’s.
“This was a president that came at foreign policy problems in a unique way,” he announced of Trump.