Israel, UAE reach historic deal to normalise relations

Cheryl Sanders
August 13, 2020

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to normalise relations, US President Donald Trump has announced.

As part of a peace deal brokered by President Donald Trump, Israel will pause its plans to annex areas of the West Bank, according to a joint statement released by the White House.

In a joint statement issued by the three nations, it stated the three leaders had "agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates".

The statement explained that Tel Aviv chose to suspend declaring sovereignty over the parts of the West Bank that were marked for appropriation by Israel under Trump's "deal of the century", and instead focus on "expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world".

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has welcomed the normalisation of ties between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, saying he valued efforts that will "achieve prosperity and stability for the region".

Trump told reporters that he had spoken by telephone to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan.

The deal was the product of lengthy discussions between Israel, the UAE and the United States that accelerated recently, White House officials said.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in Washington on January 28, 2020. Trump said on Twitter.

The countries will also join the United States in launching a "Strategic Agenda for the Middle East", according to the joint statement. Egypt signed its peace deal with Israel in 1979.

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi accused The United Arab Emirates of "normalisation" with Israel after Thursday's announcement of a historic peace deal.

The two countries are expected soon to exchange ambassadors.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed in on the announcement with a tweet, quoting Trump's tweet and writing, "A historic day" in Hebrew.

"We are already discussing this with other nations, very powerful, very good nations that want to see peace in the Middle East so you will probably see others of these", Mr Trump added."Things are happening that I can't talk about, but they're extremely positive".

In the coming weeks delegations from Israel and the UAE will meet to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies. As set forth in the Vision for Peace, all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem's other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshipers of all faiths.

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