It was announced at the White House on Thursday that the United Arab Emirates has now opened diplomatic relations with Israel as part of a joint US/AUE/Israel agreement signed on Wednesday.
President Trump stated to interviewers that the groundbreaking deal was made as part of an agreement for Israel to halt the annexation of occupied land which has been targeted by Palestinians for their own state.
This morning, President @realDonaldTrump officially secured the most significant step toward peace in the Middle East in more than 25 years.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 14, 2020
The UAE, which had reportedly been working quietly behind the scenes for years to make the normalization of relations with Israel a reality, said that this week’s agreement will result in Israel putting a stop to the annexation of parts of the West Bank, which is seen by Palestinians as part of a future state for their people.
The new deal means that the UAE is the very first Gulf Arab state, and only the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.
Palestinians are shocked at the new agreement, with some even calling it “treason,” saying that no other entity has a right to negotiate anything on their behalf, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Key Foreign Policy boost for Trump
The agreement is seen as a great foreign policy victory for President Trump, as he is viewed as a key player in the deal, forging new diplomatic ground between powerful nations in the Middle East. Trump has even reportedly said that other nations may now follow the UAE in normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel.
— حسن سجواني 🇦🇪 Hassan Sajwani (@HSajwanization) August 13, 2020
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced his approval of the new agreement in a statement released to the press.
Pompeo’s official statement read: “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.”
Turkish anger over Agreement
The nation of Turkey has had diplomatic relations with Israel for some time, although the relationship between them is often strained, with Turkish President Erdogan seeing himself as a champion of the Palestinians.
Erdogan, who is now facing strong opposition from the rest of the world regarding his country’s moves in oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean, said on Friday that he was considering downgrading Turkey’s relations with the UAE, and even may recall his ambassador to the Gulf nation.
The AP quoted Turkish officials as saying that the nations in the region “will never forget and will never forgive this hypocritical behavior” on the part of the Arab state.
Further, the Turkish Foreign Ministry charged that the UAE had no authority to negotiate with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians or “to make concessions on matters vital to Palestine.”
German Approval of the opening of Israeli-UAE diplomatic relations
Heiko Maas, the Foreign Minister of Germany, welcomed both the agreement and the decision to suspend the annexation of land in the West Bank, and telephoned his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi to congratulate him on what he called “this historic step.”
“We stand by our position that only a negotiated two-state solution can bring lasting peace to the Middle East,” Maas said in a statement released to the public on Thursday. “Together with our European partners and the region we have campaigned intensively in past months against an annexation and for the resumption of direct negotiations.”