Dubai: In a major diplomatic breakthrough, the UAE on Thursday became the first Gulf country and the third in the Arab world to establish diplomatic relations with Israel as part of a deal to halt the controversial annexation of parts of the West Bank that Palestinians see as a part of their future state.
U.S President Donald Trump took to Twitter to break the news saying, “Huge breakthrough today. Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!”.
A White House announcement said that the leaders of the U.S, Israel and the UAE “spoke today and agreed to the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has often boasted about Israel's close relations with states in the Arab world under his leadership, even without normalised ties, tweeted minutes later simply saying, "Yom Histori" (Historic Day) in Hebrew.
UAE's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was a bit guarded in his Twitter message saying “The UAE and Israel also agreed to cooperation and setting a roadmap towards establishing a bilateral relationship”, highlighting that "an agreement was reached to stop further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories".
Netanyahu in a nationally broadcast statement said the move ushered in a “new era” in Israel's relations with the Arab world.
He said Trump administration has asked Israel to put its West Bank annexation plans on hold.
He said the plans were on “temporary hold” and that implementing annexation would be done with U.S coordination.
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