DUBAI: In a major breakthrough in relations between the two Middle Eastern nations, Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached a peace agreement on Thursday.
The deal, brokered by US President Donald Trump, will lead to a full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two nations, a move that reshapes the order of Middle East politics from the Palestinian issue to Iran.
Under the accord, Israel has agreed to suspend annexing areas of the occupied West Bank as it had been planning to do, White House officials said.
It also firms up opposition to regional power Iran, which the UAE, Israel and the United States view as the main threat in the conflict-riven region.
Israel had signed peace agreements with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. But the UAE, along with most other Arab nations, did not recognise Israel and had no formal diplomatic or economic relations with it until now.
The agreement was the product of lengthy discussions between Israel, the UAE and the United States that accelerated recently, White House officials said.
A joint statement issued by the three nations said Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed had “agreed to the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates”.
“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 in the region,” the statement said.