President Trump said Thursday that the United Arab Emirates and Israel have agreed to establish full diplomatic ties—part of a deal to halt the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state, per the AP. The announcement makes the UAE the first Gulf Arab state and only the third Arab nation to have active diplomatic ties to Israel. Trump, who helped broker the deal, per Reuters, tweeted a statement from the countries. He then told reporters in the Oval Office that it was “a truly historic moment," adding, “now that the ice has been broken I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates." The recognition grants a rare diplomatic win to Trump ahead of the election, as his efforts to end to the war in Afghanistan have yet to come to fruition while efforts to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians have stalled.
- For Israel, the announcement comes after years of boasting by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his government enjoys closer ties to Arab nations than publicly acknowledged. Netanyahu has sought to build settlements on lands sought by the Palestinians and embraced a Trump proposal that would allow him to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank while granting Palestinians limited autonomy in other areas.
- For the UAE, home to skyscraper-studded Dubai and the rolling, oil-rich sand dunes of Abu Dhabi, it further burnishes its international campaign to be seen as a beacon of tolerance in the Middle East despite being governed by autocratic rulers. It also puts the UAE out first in a regional recognition race among neighboring Gulf Arab states.
- For the Palestinians, who long have relied on Arab backing in their struggle for independence, the announcement marked both a win and setback. While Thursday's deal halts Israeli annexation plans, the Palestinians have repeatedly urged Arab governments not to normalize relations with Israel until a peace agreement establishing an independent Palestinian state is reached.
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