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Israel and UAE agree to normalize ties

ABU DHABI (Agencies): Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached an historic agreement on Thursday to set up full diplomatic relations between the two countries, the third such deal the Jewish state has struck with an Arab country after Egypt and Jordan.

A White House announcement said the leaders of the US, Israel and the UAE “spoke today and agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE.”

Announcing the deal, US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “HUGE breakthrough today. Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the UAE!”

Minutes later, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted out “Historic Day,” alongside Trump’s message.

The UAE’s de facto ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, issued a more circumspect statement on Twitter, saying “The UAE and Israel also agreed to cooperation and setting a roadmap towards establishing a bilateral relationship.”

However the nation’s foreign minister was more direct, acknowledging that “the UAE is employing its decision for normal relations with Israel.”

He said the country was doing so “With courageous initiative, to preserve the chances of a two-state solution,” and added that the nation “calls for the resumption of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis, and is committed to working with friends to establish security and ensure the stability of the region.”

Netanyahu had earlier abruptly left a meeting of the so-called coronavirus cabinet declaring, “You will find out why afterward.”

According to the joint statemen President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, spoke on Thursday and agreed to the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the UAE.

This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the UAE and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region.

All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement.

Delegations from Israel and the UAE 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.

Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations.

As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President Trump with the support of the UAE, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.

The United States, Israel and the UAE are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal.

The UAE and Israel will immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus. Working together, these efforts will help save Muslim, Jewish, and Christian lives throughout the region.

This normalisation of relations and peaceful diplomacy will bring together two of America’s most reliable and capable regional partners.

Israel and the UAE will join with the United States to launch a Strategic Agenda for the Middle East to expand diplomatic, trade, and security cooperation. Along with the United States, Israel and the UAE share a similar outlook regarding the threats and opportunities in the region, as well as a shared commitment to promoting stability through diplomatic engagement, increased economic integration, and closer security coordination. Today’s agreement will lead to better lives for the peoples of the UAE, Israel, and the region.

The United States and Israel recall with gratitude the appearance of the UAE at the White House reception held on January 28, 2020, at which President Trump presented his Vision for Peace, and express their appreciation for UAE’ related supportive statements.

The parties will continue their efforts in this regard to achieve a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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 worshippers of all faiths.

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