In an announcement made by U.S. President Donald Trump late Thursday, the United Arab Emirates and Israel have reportedly agreed to establish normal diplomatic relations.
It is understood that in making the agreement, Israel will subsequently – at least temporarily – refrain from further annexation moves in the hotly contested West Bank.
Prior to the announcement, the UAE has never recognised Israel, and since the day of its founding even had an economic boycott in place against Tel Aviv.
Warming ties over recent years, however especially in the fields of security, have led to a thaw that will reverberate around the Middle East going into the weekend, as the UAE becomes the first Persian Gulf state to normalize ties with Israel, although two other Arab nations – Jordan and Egypt do already have official ties with the country.
“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!” the US president posted on Twitter in what is an undeniable massive foreign policy coup in the run up to the presidential election in November.
His opponent in the election, former vice-president Joe Biden did go so far as to publicly praise the achievement while trying in vain to deny the role played by the Trump White House when saying it “builds on the efforts of multiple administrations to foster a broader Arab-Israeli opening.”
Meanwhile, a tweet by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi said “During a call with President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, an agreement was reached to stop further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories. The UAE and Israel also agreed to cooperation and setting a roadmap towards establishing a bilateral relationship.”