Leaders in Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to normalize relations between the two countries and pledged to take a number of steps to strengthen diplomatic relations, including exchanging embassies and ambassadors.
The historic treaty is a result of negotiations brokered by President Donald Trump. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, concluded the peace negotiations in a phone call with the U.S. president on Thursday.
“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!” Trump tweeted. During a press briefing after the agreement was announced, Trump said that the U.S. is in talks with other Middle Eastern nations to join the Israeli-UAE agreement.
HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2020
The agreement is set to “unlock great potential in the region,” according to a joint-statement by the trio of nations. An official agreement is expected to be signed at a White House ceremony in the coming weeks.
“Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investments, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit,” the statement said. “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 part of the agreement, Israel has agreed to suspend declaring sovereignty over areas of the West Bank outlined in a January peace plan designed by the Trump administration. Instead, Israel will focus on “expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.”
“This normalization of relations and peaceful diplomacy will bring together two of America’s most reliable and capable regional partners. Israel and the United Arab Emirates will join with the United States to launch a Strategic Agenda for the Middle East to expand diplomatic, trade, and security cooperation,” the statement continued.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that the peace deal is “historic” and a “significant step” for peace in the Middle East:
This is a remarkable achievement for two of the world’s most forward leaning, technologically advanced states, and reflects their shared regional vision of an economically integrated region. It also illustrates their commitment to confronting common threats, as small — but strong — nations.
The United States hopes that this brave step will be the first in a series of agreements that ends 72 years of hostilities in the region. Although the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and Jordan have not yet fulfilled their full potential, since the 1978 Camp David Accords and the 1994 Wadi Arava Agreement, we have witnessed significant economic development in Egypt and Jordan, an unmistakable dividend of peace.
Today’s normalization agreement between Israel and the Emirates holds similar potential and the promise for a better day for the entire region. The United States congratulates Israel and the Emirates for their important achievement. Blessed are the peacemakers. Mabruk and Mazal Tov.
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