DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
President Donald Trump said Thursday that the United Arab Emirates and Israel have agreed to establish full diplomatic relations as part of an agreement to stop the annexation of occupied lands that the Palestinians claim as part of their future state.
With this, the Emirates are the first Arab state in the Persian Gulf and the third Arab country to take that step.
After tweeting about the deal, Trump told reporters in the White House Oval Office that it was “a truly historic moment.”
“Now that the ice has been broken, I anticipate that other Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates,” he said.
The recognition marks a valuable diplomatic triumph for Trump heading into the November election. His attempts to end the war in Afghanistan have been unsuccessful, and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is stalled.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has boasted for years that his government’s relations with Arab nations are closer than is publicly acknowledged. Netanyahu has built settlements on lands claimed by the Palestinians, and Trump’s peace proposal would allow him to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank while granting the Palestinians limited autonomy in others.
For the UAE, it adds luster to its international campaign to show itself as a beacon of tolerance in the Middle East despite its autocratic regimes. It also places you first in a regional race for recognition.
And for the Palestinians, who depend on the Arab states in their fight for independence, the announcement is both a victory and a setback. Although the agreement halts Israeli annexation plans, the Palestinians have always urged Arab governments not to normalize relations with Israel before a peace agreement and the creation of an independent state are reached.
“Israel received a reward for failing to openly declare what has made Palestine illegal and persistently since the beginning of the occupation,” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi tweeted. She added that the UAE has publicly declared its “secret negotiations / normalization with Israel. Please don’t do us favors. We’re not anyone’s fig leaf! “
The Hamas militia, which rules the Gaza Strip, called the agreement with the Emiratis “a stab in the back to our people.”
Immediately after Trump’s tweet, the United States, the Emirates and Israel said in a statement that delegations will meet in the coming weeks to sign agreements on direct flights, telecommunications, energy, tourism and health. In addition, the two countries will partner in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“The opening of direct relationships between two of the most dynamic societies and the most developed economies in the Middle East will transform the region by stimulating economic growth, increasing technological innovation and forging closer relationships between peoples,” says Trump’s statement, Netanyahu and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who presides over the day-to-day operations of the government.
Among the Arab countries, only Egypt and Jordan have full diplomatic relations with Israel, since 1979 and 2004, respectively.
The UAE, an ally of the United States, is a federation of seven emirates on the Arabian Peninsula. Created in 1971, it did not initially recognize Israel due to its occupation of Palestinian lands.
“Arab oil is not dearer than Arab blood,” said the UAE’s founding ruler, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, when he joined an oil boycott of the United States due to Washington’s military support of Israel during the war. Middle East 1973.
The UAE created its nation with the help of Palestinian professionals, and over the years has maintained its position that the creation of a Palestinian state be allowed on lands occupied by Israel during the 1967 war.