Israel and UAE agree historic Trump-brokered deal to establish relations and postpone annexation

US President Donald Trump said that the agreement was a 'huge breakthrough' between 'our two great friends'


Israel and the United Arab Emirates have struck a historic agreement that will lead to the “full normalisation of diplomatic relations” between the two states, in a deal brokered by US President Donald Trump.

Announced on Thursday by Mr Trump, a joint statement signed by Israel, the UAE and the United States said that Israel has agreed to suspend annexing tranches of the West Bank that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously vowed to go ahead with.

Israeli and Emirati delegations will meet “in the coming weeks” to sign bilateral agreements on a raft of issues including the establishment of direct flights, reciprocal embassies and security.

The statement read that the agreement would “advance peace in the Middle East” and “transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation and forging closer people-to-people relations.”



The agreement, White House officials said, was the product of lengthy negotiations between the three states.

It is understood that US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Middle East envoy Avi Berkowtiz and senior advisor Jared Kushner were integral figures in the US negotiating team, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security advisor Robert O'Brien.  

Mr Netanyahu delivered a “special statement” at 8pm Israeli time, that outlined the achievement about the “historic day for the State of Israel”.

The deal, to be known as the Abraham Accords, was finalised in a Thursday phone call between Mr Trump, Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

The UAE’s Embassy to Washington released a statement stating that the agreement was “a win for diplomacy and for the region. It is a significant advance in Arab-Israeli relations that lowers tensions and creates new energy for positive change.”

Israel has had an informal mission to the UAE since 2015, when it established a permanent mission at the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency.

The two states have had warming relations, driven by Emirati interest in Israeli technological and security knowhow, and a perception in the UAE that closer ties with Israel could enhance the state’s standing in Washington.

The historic statement also said that the UAE and Israel had agreed to cooperation on regional issues and the development of a Covid-19 vaccine and the mapping of a path towards establishing closer bilateral relations.

The statement said that the agreement will also envisage greater access for Muslims to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

It is understood that the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah were not consulted on the negotiations. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the agreement, Tweeting: “The UAE and Israel’s decision to normalise relations is hugely good news. It was my profound hope that annexation did not go ahead in the West Bank and today’s agreement to suspend those plans is a welcome step on the road to a more peaceful Middle East.”

Britain's Jewish establishment also welcomed the announcement. 

Jonathan Goldstein, the chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said the deal was “a welcome step in recognising Israel’s rightful place among the community of nations. This offers hope for expanding peace and cooperation between Israel and her neighbours.”

Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl stated that the agreement was a historic development and “an important step for prosperity, peace and security in the region.”  

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