President Trump announced on Thursday that Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to establish full diplomatic ties, the first such agreement between Israel and an Arab Gulf country.
The leaders of all three countries “spoke today and agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” according to a joint statement posted by Trump on Twitter. “As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President Trump with the support of the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined” in Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
“HUGE breakthrough today!” Trump commented. “Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a “historic day.”
U.A.E. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed said that bilateral relations had not been immediately established, writing on Twitter, “The UAE and Israel…agreed to cooperation and setting a roadmap towards establishing a bilateral relationship.”
Among Arab countries in the Middle East, Israel currently has full relations with neighbors Jordan and Egypt. Israel has maintained quiet relations with the U.A.E. for years, however, and the two countries have deepened ties to counter the regional influence of Iran, seen by both nations as a common enemy.
“Near-term talks are planned on visas for tourists and business people, air, telecommunications and shipping links” as well as “ministerial-level visits and establishing embassies,” U.A.E. Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba said in a statement. Al Otaiba emphasized that “the agreement immediately stops annexation and the potential for violent escalation. It maintains the viability of a two-state solution as endorsed by the Arab League and international community.”