Israel and UAE strike historic deal to normalise relations

Israel and UAE strike historic deal to normalise relations

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump, and two UAE leaders spoke and made the agreement, according to a joint statement from the United States and the two Middle Eastern nations. Apparently brokered by Trump himself, the agreement between the two countries may be seen domestically as a significant foreign policy gain for the president. Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a joint press conference in the White House in Washington, D.C., the United States, on January 28, 2020.

Reportedly, Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed agreed to the terms of the pact on a phone call.

Netanyahu said it also entailed acceding to a request from US President Donald Trump to "temporarily wait" on implementing the Israeli leader's pledge to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

A joint statement issued by Israel, the UAE and the United States issued in Washington hailed the accord as a "historic diplomatic breakthrough" that would advance peace in the Middle East.

"I have the great privilege to make the 3rd peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country, UAE", Netanyahu said, adding that the agreement "shows huge change in status of Israel in Middle East".

Trump suggested to reporters that more diplomatic breakthroughs between Israel and Arab countries in the region were expected but gave no further details.

Ashrawi decried what she called the UAE's "secret dealings/normalisation", and in Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the armed Islamist group Hamas, told Reuters: "Normalisation is a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause, and it serves only the Israeli occupation".

The administration was able to seize on the UAE and Israel's common enemy of Iran as a way to achieve this agreement, one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal dynamics.

Israel's failure to do this would only deepen the decades long Arab-Israeli conflict and threaten the security of the region as a whole, Safadi said.

The joint statement from the United States, the UAE and Israel said delegations would meet in the coming weeks to sign deals on direct flights, security, telecommunications, energy, tourism and health care. While this is likely to ruffle feathers in other Arab capitals, it will ultimately create solidarity among a greater number of countries confronting Iran, this official said.

The agreement also envisions giving Muslims greater access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem.

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