Israel and the United Arab Emirates Formalize Relations

Aug/23/2020 21:15:28

On 13 August, Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed on a historic peace deal that solidifies the relationship.

Also known as the Abraham Record, the agreement gives the two countries formal ties for the first time and will establish strong security ties.

The arrangement also has substantial implications for the Middle East and global geopolitics as a whole. However, it still hasn’t been signed by either nation.

History of the region

Until the past decade, Israel and the UAE shared a frosty relationship. Israel’s position within the Middle East has always been tricky due to the ongoing conflict with Palestine over territory. Most Arab countries back the independence of Palestine and its territory, but it seems the tide is slowly turning.

The UAE and Israel have cooperated more recently, partly because they both oppose Iran’s nuclear program.

The perceived security threat from other countries has been a huge factor in fostering the agreement, although it hasn’t been explicitly mentioned. Although the two nations previously had some security agreements, they’re now out in the opening, making more of a force to reckon with.

What the agreement means

The deal has wide-ranging implications. It means cooperation in various sectors encompassing healthcare, tourism, education, security, international trade, and more.

The resulting money flow is set to be large. Some predict Israel will see $350 million of UAE investment, and the UAE will export up to $500 million worth of goods.

It’s also a boost for the individual figures involved. For Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it’s a significant victory while Israel still strives to establish itself within the Middle East. The deal even benefits US President Donald Trump, who played an important role in brokering the agreement.

But not all news is good. The arrangement could cause problems within the rest of the region. Palestinian politicians have accused the UAE of turning its back on Palestine. They now worry the peace deal with Israel they had hoped for will never arrive.

Some aspects of the deal remain unclear. At first, it was believed that Israel would end plans to annex part of Palestine — but a few days later, Netanyahu made clear that he had no such intentions. Meanwhile, the UAE announced it did indeed want to stop annexation.

Looking to the future of the Middle East

If successfully signed, the agreement will make UAE the third Middle-Eastern country to have a formal relationship with Israel (the other two countries are Egypt and Jordan). However, this deal goes one step beyond and could change the face of Middle-Eastern politics.

Whether that’s a step forward or backward depends on where you stand in the messy Israel-Palestine debacle. The move strengthens the position of Israel and helps provide a united front against Iran. It also benefits Trump thanks to his role in brokering the agreement.

However, it’s unfortunate news for Palestine. The nation could lose further allies as more countries position themselves to strike peace deals with Israel.

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