- Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a historic deal that will lead to a full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations.
- The deal came after a phone call between US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
- The White House says the agreement will see Israel suspend its plans to annex Palestinian areas of the occupied West Bank.
Here are the latest updates:
17:10 GMT – Israel’s president invites UAE’s Mohammed bin Zayed to visit Jerusalem
President Reuven Rivlin has extended an invitation to UAE Crown Price Mohammed bin Zayed to visit Jerusalem, just hours after the announcement that the two countries were establishing full diplomatic ties.
“I invite the crown prince to visit Jerusalem,” he wrote on Twitter, adding a greeting in Arabic.
I congratulate the President of the United States @realDonaldTrump, the Prime Minister of Israel @netanyahu and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed @MohamedBinZayed on this impressive achievement and invite the Crown Prince to visit Jerusalem. Ahlan wa’Sahlan.”
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) August 13, 2020
Rivlin, whose post is ceremonial, said the agreement was “an important and strategic milestone” that could jumpstart agreements with other countries in the region.
16:55 GMT – UN Chief welcomes ‘any initiative’ on Middle East peace, security: Spokesman
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomes “any initiative that can promote peace and security in the Middle East region,” a UN spokesman said after Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced a deal on bilateral ties.
16:30 GMT – Hamas: Israel-UAE agreement is ‘a reward for the Israeli occupation’s crimes’
Hamas has accused the United Arab Emirates of stabbing Palestinians in the back by agreeing to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.
“This announcement is a reward for the Israeli occupation’s crimes,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. “The normalisation is a stabbing in the back of our people.”
Israel and UAE agree to normalise diplomatic relations (7:17)
16:15 GMT – Israeli legislators welcome normalisation deal with UAE
Israeli lawmakers have welcoming the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the UAE, with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz – who is also Israel’s “alternate” prime minister under a power sharing deal – saying the agreement expressed an “alliance” between countries in the region who aim for stability and prosperity.
He said the deal will have “many positive implications” on the region and called on other Arab states to pursue peace deals with Israel. He also thanked President Trump, calling him a “true friend of Israel.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, part of Gantz’ Blue and White party, said he welcomed Israel’s backing down from “unilateral annexation” of the West Bank, saying Trump’s Middle East plan would be discussed in consultation with countries in the region.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid said “negotiations and agreements, not unilateral steps like annexation” were key to Israel’s diplomatic relations.
16:12 GMT – UAE says deal was done to manage annexation threat
The United Arab Emirates has said its agreement with Israel was done to deal with the threat that further annexation of Palestinian territories posed to the two-state solution.
The UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, urged the Palestinians and Israelis to return to the negotiating table.
16:10 GMT – Egypt’s Sisi welcomes UAE-Israel deal, halt to annexation
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has welcomed the normalisation of ties between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, saying he valued efforts that will “achieve prosperity and stability for the region”.
“I followed with interest and appreciation the joint statement between the United States, United Arab Emirates and Israel to halt the Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands and taking steps to bring peace in the Middle East,” Sisi said on Twitter.
“I value the efforts of those in charge of the deal to achieve prosperity and stability for our region.”
16:05 GMT – UAE, Israel to sign bilateral deals on areas including tourism, direct flights
Delegations from the United Arab Emirates and Israel will meet during the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements on areas including energy, tourism, direct flights, investment, security, communication and technology, the UAE foreign ministry said.
15:50 GMT – UAE-Israel deal is a ‘win’ for diplomacy, the region – UAE embassy to US
The United Arab Emirates embassy to the United States said an agreement to fully normalise relations between Israel and the UAE was a win for diplomacy and for the region that lowers tensions.
Ambassador Youssef Al Otaiba said the agreement maintained the viability of a two state solution and the UAE remained a strong supporter of the Palestinian people, in a statement on Twitter.
15:48 GMT – UAE official says Israeli annexation would have ended peace hopes
UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said on Thursday any further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory would have ended hopes for peace in the region.
In an interview with Sky News Arabia after the announcement that the UAE had agreed to a deal to normalise relations with Israel, Gargash said the UAE had dismantled a ticking time bomb that was threatening the two state solution.
15:45 GMT – Palestinian official accuses UAE of ‘normalisation’ with Israel
Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi accused The United Arab Emirates of “normalisation” with Israel after Thursday’s announcement of a historic peace deal.
Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on Twitter: “The UAE has come out in the open on its secret dealings/normalization with Israel. Please don’t do us a favor. We are nobody’s fig leaf!”
Does Trump support Israel’s annexation move? (1:57)
15:40 GMT – Pompeo says Israel-UAE agreement is enormous step forward
An agreement on normalising relations reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday is an “enormous” step forward on the “right path”, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters with him on a trip to central European countries.
Pompeo made his remarks shortly before taking off from Slovenia for Austria’s capital Vienna.
The agreement, which US President Donald Trump helped broker, will lead to the full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations.
15:40 GMT – Israel hails ‘great day for peace’ after deal with UAE announced
Israel hailed a US-brokered peace deal with the United Arab Emirates as a “great day for peace” and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to hold a news conference at 1600 GMT to comment further.
Saying he had to deal with a matter of great national interest, Netanyahu abruptly left a cabinet discussion on the coronavirus crisis about an hour before US President Donald Trump announced the agreement to normalise relations between Israel and the Gulf Arab country.
On Twitter, Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador in Washington, wrote: “A great day for peace! Israel commends the courage of MBZ (de facto UAE leader Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan) for the historic decision of the UAE to join Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) in making peace with Israel. Israel deeply appreciates all … Trump has done to make this breakthrough possible.”