Prepared by: Muhammad Shousha / Researcher in Political Science – The Arab Democratic Center
US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, agreed in a phone call on August 13, 2020, to start full bilateral relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. This normalization of relations and peaceful diplomacy will bring together two of the most reliable and capable regional partners. According to the joint statement issued by the official Emirates Agency “WAM”.
This agreement is the third of its kind between Israel and the Arab countries since the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, when the normalization of relations between Egypt and Israel took place in 1979, and this was the first bilateral agreement, followed by Jordan in 1994. This represents the third agreement for normalization between Israel and the Arab countries. Before that, there were no formal diplomatic relations between Israel and the Arab Gulf states. The international and regional reactions to this step on the part of the three countries varied between rejection, support and neutrality, according to what will happen and what will be implemented. As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President Donald Trump and with the support of the UAE, Israel will stop the plan to annex the Palestinian territories in accordance with Trump’s peace plan.
- The most important terms of the Israeli-Emirati agreement
Agreement on the full normalization of relations between Israel. And the United Arab Emirates. The three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from this historic achievement
Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements related to investment, tourism, direct flights, security, communications, technology, energy, health care, culture, the environment, the establishment of mutual meetings, and other fields. mutual benefit.
– Israel will suspend the declaration of sovereignty over the areas specified in the President’s peace vision and will now focus its efforts on expanding relations with other countries in the Arab and Islamic world.
Both Israel and the United Arab Emirates are working on additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other countries, and together they strive to achieve this goal.
Opening direct relationships between two of the most dynamic societies in the Middle East and the advanced economies will transform the region by stimulating economic growth, fostering technological innovation, and bringing people closer together.
The United Arab Emirates and Israel will immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment and development of a vaccine for the Coronavirus . Working together, these efforts will help save the lives of Muslims, Jews and Christians across the region.
– Israel and the United Arab Emirates join the United States in launching a strategic agenda for the Middle East to expand diplomatic, commercial and security cooperation alongside the United States.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates share a similar outlook regarding threats and opportunities in the region, as well as a shared commitment to promoting stability through diplomatic engagement, increased economic integration, and closer security coordination. Today’s agreement will lead to a better life for the people of the United Arab Emirates, Israel and the region (according to the terms of the agreement).
This historic diplomatic achievement helps advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy, the vision of the three leaders, and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new course that would unleash the great potential in the region.
The two sides continue their efforts in this regard to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As illustrated in the Vision of Peace announced by President Donald Trump on January 28, 2020.
All Muslims who come in peace can visit and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and other holy sites in Jerusalem must remain open to all religions.
It is clear from the terms of this official statement issued by the official Emirates News Agency that the focal point relates to the suspension of the declaration of sovereignty over the annexation of Palestinian lands in the West Bank in exchange for the normalization of relations with Israel, even if this matter was made by the Israeli Prime Minister at a conference following the announcement of this agreement as a decision Commentary, not a final cessation of annexation.
There was no discussion of the contentious issues between Palestine and Israel, or what is known as the final solution issues, such as the issues of Jerusalem, refugees and the right of return, nor the issue of settlements, with the exception of the decision to suspend the annexation of lands in the West Bank, but the current settlements in Jerusalem and on the Palestinian lands in general were not mentioned. It must be emphasized here that the UAE embassy is in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, and this is something that is based on the terms of the joint statement and the statements of Emirati officials about the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
According to the joint statement, the UAE and Israel are working on additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other countries, and are working together to achieve this goal. However, the statement did not clarify from these countries or the nature of the agreements concluded with them, but it must be emphasized that the decision to stop annexing lands in the West Bank has been agreed upon, and therefore this could be a starting point for achieving gains from any future agreements without prejudice to basic issues such as Jerusalem.
This initiative sparked mixed reactions at the international level, which was welcomed by the United Nations and described as a historic step. The Secretary-General welcomed any initiative that would enhance peace and security in the Middle East region, as well as France and England, as the British Prime Minister “Boris Johnson” expressed his welcome and approval of this Emirati-Israeli diplomatic agreement and that he hopes that the annexation of territories in the West Bank will not continue, and that it is a necessary push. To achieve peace in the Middle East. As for France, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement welcoming the announcement of the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and that the decision taken by the Israeli authorities to halt the annexation of Palestinian lands is a positive step and should become a “final measure.”
On the Arab level, Egypt supported the agreement, as President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi made a phone call with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, during which he congratulated the historic peace step taken by the UAE, which would advance the efforts of the peace process and open horizons for it. Bahrain and Oman supported this initiative. From the UAE side. However, the Palestinian Authority rejected this agreement, and the Palestinian ambassador to the Emirates was immediately summoned, and considered the Israeli agreement a blow to the Arab Peace Initiative and the decisions of the Arab and Islamic summits, as well as an attack on the Palestinian people. Hamas rejected this announced agreement, considering it a non-binding agreement for the Palestinian people, and it will not be respected.
As for Jordan, the Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs affirmed: “This agreement will be linked to what Israel will do. But if Israel does not do so, the conflict will deepen, which will explode as a threat to the security of the entire region.
As for Turkey and Iran, they criticized the agreement and considered it a “betrayal of the rights of the Palestinian people.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated that his country is considering closing its embassy in Abu Dhabi and suspending diplomatic relations with the UAE due to its agreement on normalizing relations with Israel and describing the Emirati behavior with hypocrisy towards the Palestinian cause. Iran expressed the agreement with a dangerous step, and that it is “strategic stupidity and will only lead to strengthening the axis of resistance. The official Iranian News Agency quoted a ministry statement as saying that“ the Islamic Republic considers the step of shame that Abu Dhabi took to normalize relations with the Zionist entity is dangerous and will lead to strengthening Resistance and achieving unity against the Zionist entity and reaction.