Israel and the United Arab Emirates reach historic normalization deal brokered by United States

Israel will suspend plans to annex certain areas of the West Bank.

Updated: August 13, 2020 - 12:27pm

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An historic deal was announced Thursday between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, to establish a full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations. The deal was brokered by President Donald Trump's administration. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Israel has consented to suspend its effort to apply sovereignty to various areas of the West Bank that it has been considering annexing. 

"Today’s agreement will lead to better lives for the peoples of the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and the region," the White House said in a statement.

The deal was reportedly sealed on Aug. 13 during a phone conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, crown prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, and President Donald Trump. 

"The United Arab Emirates and Israel will immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus," the White House said in a statement. "Working together, these efforts will help save Muslim, Jewish, and Christian lives throughout the region."  

The deal will formally be known as the "Abraham Accords." The UAE follows Egypt and Jordan in becoming one of only three Arab states, and the only Gulf state, to agree to a peace deal with Israel.

The agreement was negotiated by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz, national security adviser Robert O'Brien, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In the coming weeks, delegations from the two Middle Eastern countries will meet to go over bilateral agreements on the subjects of tourism, investment, direct flights, security, technology and other issues. The agreement will give more Muslims the opportunity to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, by allowing flights from Abu Dhabi into Tel Aviv.

The two countries are expected to establish and exchange ambassadors and embassies in short order.

This historic agreement also gives President Trump a solid diplomatic victory ahead of his November 3 re-election bid.

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