World reacts to UAE’s opening diplomatic ties with Israel

File photo from 2017 showing Emirati national flags in the capital Abu Dhabi (top) and a file photo from 2020 showing Israeli national flags in Jerusalem. A deal between the UAE and Israel that will lead to normalized ties was announced on Thursday. (AFP)
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Updated 16 August 2020

World reacts to UAE’s opening diplomatic ties with Israel

  • Trump hailed the agreement as big breakthrough
  • The UN welcomed "any initiative that can promote peace and security in the Middle East

DUBAI: A deal between the UAE and Israel that will lead to normalized ties has been welcomed across the Middle East and beyond. 

US President Donald Trump, who helped broker the deal, hailed the agreement as big breakthrough.

“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the agreement describing it as "hugely good news". 

"The UAE and Israel’s decision to normalise relations is hugely good news," Johnson said on Twitter.

France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, welcome the announcement, adding that the UAE and Israel were considered “essential regional partners.”

He welcomed the news that Israel had pledged to suspend “the annexation of Palestinian territories,” describing it as “a positive step, which must become a final measure.”  

“The new mindset of these announcements must now boost the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on a two-state solution within the framework of international law and agreed parameters, which is the only way to reach fair and stable peace in the region,” he added. 

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said UAE becomes one of the US closest allies in the region after the deal with Israel. 

US Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden hailed the deal as an historic step toward a more stable Middle East, warning he would not support Israel's annexation of Jewish settlements if he wins the White House in November. 

“The UAE’s offer to publicly recognize the State of Israel is a welcome, brave, and badly-needed act of statesmanship,” the former Vice President said in a statement. “Annexation would be a body blow to the cause of peace, which is why I oppose it now and would oppose it as president.”

Oman supported UAE’s agreement to normalize ties with Israel on Friday and said they hope it would contribute to peace in the region.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi praised the deal, saying it would halt Israeli annexation of Palestinian land.

“I read with interest and great appreciation the joint statement between the United States, the brotherly United Arab Emirates and Israel concerning the halt of Israel's annexation of Palestinian land,” El-Sisi said in a tweet, adding that this would help bring “peace” to the Middle East.

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UAE, Israel reach ‘historic deal’ to normalize relations

Full text of joint statement on UAE and Israel normalizing ties
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Bahrain welcomed the accord between the UAE and Israel which stops Israeli annexation plans and raises the chances of peace, state news agency BNA said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday thanked the leaders of Egypt, Oman and Bahrain for their "support" of the agreement to normalise ties with the UAE.

Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s minister of foreign affairs and expatriates said Israel must choose between a just and comprehensive solution that ends the occupation of Palestinian land or the continuation of a conflict that violates the rights of the Palestinian people.

Safadi said that if Israel views the agreement as an incentive to end the occupation and accept the rights of Palestinians to freedom and an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, it will be a step toward peace in the region. If not, he warned that the conflict will escalate and increase the threat to the security of the entire Middle East.

He added that a just and comprehensive peace, which is a strategic choice for the Arab world and a necessity for regional and international peace and security, will not be achieved while the occupation continues and Israel persists with policies and procedures that threaten the two-state solution and undermine the foundations on which the peace process is based.

The minister said Amman supports any genuine effort to achieve a just and comprehensive peace that ends the Israeli occupation and ensures rights of the Palestinian people. Jordan will continue to work with others to achieve this, he added, but any peace will not be permanent unless accepted by all peoples.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed “any initiative that can promote peace and security in the Middle East region,” a spokesman said.

As part of the deal, Israel had agreed "to suspend" plans to annex Jewish settlements and other territory in the occupied West Bank, according to a joint statement from the US, UAE and Israel tweeted by Trump.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said: “This is a momentous agreement which has taken courage, imagination and leadership. It preserves the possibility of the Two State solution by halting the annexation plan which would have made such a solution a near impossibility.

“By deepening the relationships between Israel and Arab nations, it helps create conditions which offer Israelis the prospect of security and the Palestinians the chance to pursue Statehood with credibility.

“And it shows how the modern dividing line in the Middle East is not between different faiths and cultures but between those who wish for peaceful co-existence across the boundaries of faith and culture; and those who want violent confrontation.”


Yemeni prisoners say they were tortured by their Houthis captors

Updated 15 min 56 sec ago

Yemeni prisoners say they were tortured by their Houthis captors

  • The men said they were subjected to physical and psychological torture from the first moment they were in jail
  • The torture included receiving electric shocks, beatings, sleep deprivation, starvation and mock executions

DUBAI: Six Yemeni prisoners recently freed from Houthi jails said they were tortured by their Houthis captors at facilities run by the Iranian-backed militia, state news agency Saba New reported.
The internationally recognized Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Houthis swapped 484 prisoners in the first phase of a deal to release hundreds of prisoners on Oct. 15.
The men said they were subjected to physical and psychological torture from the first moment they were in jail.
The torture included receiving electric shocks, beatings, sleep deprivation, starvation and mock executions, the report added.
The prisoners were also forced to admit to crimes they did not commit and were told their wives, children and mothers would also be tortured, the report added.
The freed prisoners said they spent months in overcrowded and dark cells, and then suddenly moved to brightly lit rooms, the report added.

The men suffered serious injuries, including broken bones and dislocated spinal discs.