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American President Donald Trump announced on 13th August that Israel and the United Arab Emirates would establish full normalisation of relations. In exchange Israel would forgo ‘declaring sovereignty’ over occupied West Bank territory. Israel has pledged to stop its ambitions to annex parts of the West Bank. Till now Israel has had no diplomatic relations with Gulf Arab Countries. This deal is surprising for many countries. Many Countries are criticizing this and many are considering it as a landmark initiative. Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached an accord sealed by the US President Trump that is believed to be a broader realignment in the region because both have agreed for full normalisation of relations. The agreement is to be known as the Abraham Accord. Abraham is considered as the father of all three great faiths. He is refereed as ‘Abraham’ in the Christian faith, ‘Ibrahim’ in the Muslim faith and ‘Avraham’ in the Jewish faith.

The deal is an achievement for Trump also. After a three-way phone call meeting with Israel and Emirati leaders, Mr Trump announced the deal at the White House. Trump said that the deal would lead to greater cooperation on investment, security, tourism, energy, technology and other areas between both the countries. The two countries for the first time will also allow regular direct passenger flights and trade ambassadors. He said that “this deal is a significant step towards building a more peaceful, prosperous and secure Middle East.” Some Israeli leaders are disappointed that how the Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu can give up his plan to claim sovereignty over West Bank territory. Also, Palestinians felt abandoned by an Arab Nation leaving them to remain locked in an untenable status quo even without the threat of annexation. Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Executive Committee, said that ‘this is a black day in the history of Palestine. Israeli PM Netanyahu said at a news conference that “this is a historic evening.” The UAE’s ambassador to the United States, Yousef AlOtaiba, said that the deal with Israel is a win for diplomacy and for the region. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he hopes that annexation would not go ahead in the West Bank and the agreement is a welcome step on the road to a more peaceful Middle East. Earlier, Israel had signed peace agreements with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. But the United Arab Emirates along with the most other Arab countries did not recognize Israel and they had no diplomatic or economic relations with Israel till now.

United Arab Emirates is a Muslim kingdom in the Persian Gulf made up of seven smaller entities, known as Emirates, with huge oil and natural gas reserves. UAE becomes the third Arab Nation to establish official relation with the Jewish State. Throughout the history, Israel had been ignored by most of its neighbours. Till now before this deal with UAE, Israel had diplomatic relations with only two Arab Countries namely Egypt and Jordan. The deal may open the door for other countries to promote relations and peace. Turkey is considered as the first Muslim majority country to recognize the state of Israel. Prime Minister of Israel Netanyahu has long argued that Israel should start diplomatic relations across the Middle East and the globe. The deal also benefited Netanyahu because he can now distract public from the on-going criminal trial for corruption against him and also from the protests against him and his Government’s coronavirus policies.

Donald Trump is also benefitted from the deal between Israel and UAE as he can legitimately claim credit for helping the two nations to achieve a historic treaty. It is also helpful for Trump because this is the election year. Both the countries Israel and the Emirates are happy to credit Donald Trump to advance their positions in Washington. Trump called the deal between PM Netanyahu and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan “a truly historic moment.” Netanyahu said that Israel would co-operate with the UAE in developing the Coronavirus vaccine, environmental protection, water, energy and many other fields. Many analysts say that the deal may mean a foreign policy victory for President Trump.

Rajeev Ranjan @ Samacharline