UAE deal: Two countries open phone lines, sign Covid-19 commercial agreement

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 16, 2020

Erekat condemned the agreement as a "desperate attempt" by Trump to notch a foreign policy success.

After President Donald Trump released his Mideast plan earlier this year, which was favorable to Israel, Netanyahu said he would forge ahead with annexing parts of the West Bank.

"It is precisely the expansion of reconciliation between Israel and the Arab world that is likely to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace", Netanyahu said.

Media captionIsrael annexation: What is the West Bank? "Under this doctrine, Israel is not required to withdraw from any territory and together the two countries openly reap the fruits of a full peace: Investments, trade, tourism, health, agriculture, environmental protection and in many other fields, including defense of course", he said.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday announced their US -sponsored rapprochement, which promised a boom in bilateral trade but angered Palestinians and anti-Israel powers, such as Iran.

Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Handel issued a statement "congratulating the United Arab Emirates on removing the blocks".

The Palestinians have called for emergency meetings of the Arab League and the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation to reject the Israel-UAE deal, but have not received replies from either body, Erekat said.

"Many economic opportunities will open now, and these trust-building steps are an important step toward advancing states' interests", Handel said.

In another sign of the new, closer relationship, the two countries signed an agreement on Saturday relating to Covid-19 research.

President Trump's chief adviser, Jared Kushner, told CBS he and President Trump had been working on a deal between Israel and the UAE since Mr Trump came to office.

But Netanyahu, who has seen his popularity plummet over his handling of the coronavirus crisis, has faced searing criticism from settler leaders and their representatives in parliament over the annexation backtrack, and he has tried to reassure them that he remains committed to the move.

Palestinian groups denounced the new agreement, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of the Palestinian people.

The agreement makes the UAE only the third Arab state after Egypt and Jordan to make such a deal with Israel, which has enjoyed special access to USA weapons sales. It might seem a bit much to put all this on the UAE, which is a small country, but it punches well above its weight in the Arab world and beyond.

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