UAE, Israel normalise ties

  • Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a historic deal that will lead to a full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations.
  • The deal came after a phone call between US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
  • The White House says the agreement will see Israel suspend its plans to annex Palestinian areas of the occupied West Bank.

    16:12 GMT – UAE says deal was done to manage annexation threat

    The United Arab Emirates has said its agreement with Israel was done to deal with the threat that further annexation of Palestinian territories posed to the two-state solution.

    The UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, urged the Palestinians and Israelis to return to the negotiating table.

    16:10 GMT – Egypt’s Sisi welcomes UAE-Israel deal, halt to annexation

    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”.

    “I followed with interest and appreciation the joint statement between the United States, United Arab Emirates and Israel to halt the Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands and taking steps to bring peace in the Middle East,” Sisi said on Twitter.

    “I value the efforts of those in charge of the deal to achieve prosperity and stability for our region.”

    16:05 GMT – UAE, Israel to sign bilateral deals on areas including tourism, direct flights

    Delegations from the United Arab Emirates and Israel will meet during the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements on areas including energy, tourism, direct flights, investment, security, communication and technology, the UAE foreign ministry said.

    15:50 GMT – UAE-Israel deal is a “win” for diplomacy, the region – UAE embassy to US

    The United Arab Emirates embassy to the United States on Thursday said an agreement to fully normalize relations between Israel and the UAE was a win for diplomacy and for the region that lowers tensions.

    Ambassador Youssef Al Otaiba said the agreement maintained the viability of a two state solution and the UAE remained a strong supporter of the Palestinian people, in a statement on Twitter.

    15:48 GMT UAE official says Israeli annexation would have ended peace hopes

    UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said on Thursday any further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory would have ended hopes for peace in the region.

    In an interview with Sky News Arabia after the announcement that the UAE had agreed to a deal to normalise relations with Israel, Gargash said the UAE had dismantled a ticking time bomb that was threatening the two state solution.

    15:45 GMT – Palestinian official accuses UAE of “normalisation” with Israel

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

    Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on Twitter: “The UAE has come out in the open on its secret dealings/normalization with Israel. Please don’t do us a favor. We are nobody’s fig leaf!”

    15:40 GMT – Pompeo says Israel-UAE agreement is an enormous step forward

    An agreement on normalising relations reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday is an “enormous” step forward on the “right path”, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters with him on a trip to central European countries.

    Pompeo made his remarks shortly before taking off from Slovenia for Austria’s capital Vienna.

    The agreement, which U.S. President Donald Trump helped broker, will lead to the full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations.

    15:40 GMT – Israel hails “great day for peace” after deal with UAE announced

    Israel hailed a US-brokered peace deal with the United Arab Emirates as a “great day for peace” and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to hold a news conference at 1600 GMT to comment further.

    Saying he had to deal with a matter of great national interest, Netanyahu abruptly left a cabinet discussion on the coronavirus crisis about an hour before US President Donald Trump announced the agreement to normalise relations between Israel and the Gulf Arab country.

    On Twitter, Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador in Washington, wrote: “A great day for peace! Israel commends the courage of MBZ (de facto UAE leader Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan) for the historic decision of the UAE to join Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) in making peace with Israel. Israel deeply appreciates all … Trump has done to make this breakthrough possible.”

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