UAE becomes the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan to normalize diplomatic relationship with Israel. (Photo courtesy: Go Travel Blogger)

UAE becomes first non-frontline Arab state to establish ties with Israel

The accord between United Arab Emirates and Israel on Thursday made UAE the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan to normalize diplomatic relationship with Israel. Unlike Egypt and Jordan, UAE does not share border with Israel. The deal has been sealed by US President Donald Trump.

While the two countries agreed to “full normalization of relations”, Iran and Turkey, the two major regional powers have denounced UAE’s decision. Turkey has also threatened to sever diplomatic ties with UAE over this deal.

Ironically Kemalist Turkey had recognized Israel way back in 1949 and had established diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

The Palestinians felt abandoned over this agreement and the Palestinian ambassador to the Emirates was recalled in protest. Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, said in an interview “This is a black day in the history of Palestine. This agreement is a total departure from the Arab consensus. The Palestinian people have not authorized anyone to make concessions to Israel in exchange for anything.”  

On the other hand some Israeli settlers as well as political allies of the ruling Likud party have criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu as under the accord Israel would not be able to go on with the proposed annexation plan in West Bank and thus may give up the claim of sovereignty.

The US President Donald Trump said the deal would lead to greater cooperation on investment, tourism, security, technology, energy and other areas. He said: “This deal is a significant step towards building a more peaceful, secure and prosperous Middle-East. Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead.”

It is noteworthy that the establishment of normal diplomatic relationship between Israel and the tiny oil rich Arab country has come just two and a half month ahead of the US Presidential election.

Israel is also trying to improve its ties with Saudi Arabia. Both UAE and Saudi Arabia are opposed to the expanding influence of Iran and Turkey in the Islamic world. In the post Covid-19 world and subsequent crash in oil-prices have greatly reduced the bargaining position of both UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. “The Secretary-General welcomes this agreement, hoping it will create an opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to re-engage in meaningful negotiations that will realise a two State-solution in line with relevant United Nations resolutions, international laws and bilateral agreements,” the statement released by the UN said on Thursday.

Sabeel Ahmed

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