In a big win for Middle Eastern relations and a major victory for the Trump administration, Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) officially established diplomatic ties Thursday in a peace agreement brokered by the United States.
The treaty comes as Israel agrees to forgo plans to annex parts of the West Bank and marks the first Gulf Arab country to open relations with the Jewish nation.
“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential of the region,” the White House released in a joint statement with Israel and the UAE. “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 the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.”
Israel’s prime minister celebrated President Donald Trump’s announcement of the agreement on Twitterm writing back “Historic Day” in Hebrew.
יום היסטורי 🇮🇱 https://t.co/4mD6DzoTvE
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) August 13, 2020
According to the Wall Street Journal, Netanyahu said Trump requested Israel suspend its plans on the West Bank, although the Israeli prime minister asserted Thursday the project is “not off the table, not as far as I am concerned.”
Former Director of National Intelligence Rick Grenell lauded the deal as a historic achievement in “our decades-long pursuit of peace in the Middle East” on Newsmax, going on to ding the Obama administration led in part by then-Vice President Joe Biden for its weaknesses in dealing with the Iranian regim.
“The Trump administration policy of tough sanctions on the Iranians and the combination of really targeting the Soleimani regime in Iran, which was the killer part, it really sent a strong message to our partners that the Trump administration is going to be realist and they’re going to push for peace,” Grenell said.