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Israel-UAE accord set for Sept 15 signing at White House

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Sep 09, 2020 - 06:55 AM

WASHINGTON — Israel and the United Arab Emirates will sign a US-brokered agreement normalizing their relations at the White House on September 15, a US official said Tuesday.

It is Israel’s first such agreement with a Gulf nation and only its third with an Arab state, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Jewish state and US allies in the Middle East, including the oil-rich Gulf monarchies, is central to US President Donald Trump’s regional strategy to contain Iran, also an arch-foe of Israel.

The landmark deal between Israel and the UAE was reached last month — a bombshell announced by Trump himself.

“President Trump will host a historic signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on September 15 at the White House,” a senior White House official said.

Senior delegations from both countries will be present, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “likely” to lead the contingent from the Jewish state, the official said.

Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed will lead their delegation, the official added.

Under the deal, Israel has agreed to “suspend” annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, without saying for how long.

The Palestinians have slammed the UAE’s move as a “stab in the back” while their own conflict with Israel remains unresolved.

Washington has expressed hope that more Arab countries will build ties with Israel, as a way of building stability in the turbulent Middle East.

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