World reacts to UAE’s opening diplomatic ties with Israel

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)
Short Url
Updated 16 August 2020

World reacts to UAE’s opening diplomatic ties with Israel

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.

*********
READ MORE: 

UAE, Israel reach ‘historic deal’ to normalize relations

Full text of joint statement on UAE and Israel normalizing ties
*********

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.”


Foreign forces ignore UN’s Libya exit deadline under fragile truce

Foreign forces ignore UN’s Libya exit deadline under fragile truce
In this file photo taken on November 19, 2020, a Libyan stands in front of a school, which was damaged during fighting between rival factions, in the capital Tripoli's suburb of Ain Zara. (AFP)
Updated 24 January 2021

Foreign forces ignore UN’s Libya exit deadline under fragile truce

Foreign forces ignore UN’s Libya exit deadline under fragile truce
  • Ankara and Moscow appear intent on defending their interests under any final settlement

TRIPOLI: Foreign forces ignored a deadline to pull out of Libya as scheduled on Saturday under a UN-backed cease-fire deal, highlighting the fragility of peace efforts after a decade of conflict.

Satellite images broadcast by CNN show a trench running tens of kilometers dug by “Russian mercenaries” near the frontline coastal city of Sirte, as main foreign protagonists Ankara and Moscow appear intent on defending their interests under any final settlement.
An unidentified US intelligence official, quoted by the American news network, said there was “no intent or movement by either Turkish or Russian forces to abide by the UN-brokered agreement.”
“This has the potential to derail an already fragile peace process and cease-fire. It will be a really difficult year ahead,” he said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged all “regional and international actors to respect the provisions” of the Oct. 23 cease-fire accord that set out a withdrawal within three months of all foreign troops and mercenaries.
That deadline passed on Saturday, with no movement announced or observed on the ground.
The UN estimates there are still some 20,000 foreign troops and mercenaries in Libya helping the warring factions, the UN-recognized Government of National Accord in Tripoli and military strongman Khalifa Haftar in the east. The GNA has received military support from Turkey. Haftar has the backing of Russia.
Guterres called on all parties to implement the terms of the cease-fire “without delay,” something he noted “includes ensuring the departure of all foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya, and the full and unconditional respect of the Security Council arms embargo,” which has been in place since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ousted and killed longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi.

HIGHLIGHT

The UN estimates there are still some 20,000 foreign troops and mercenaries in Libya helping the warring factions.

Any withdrawal or end to foreign interference “does not depend on the Libyans but on the outside powers,” said Khaled Al-Montasser, professor of international relations at Tripoli University.
Turkey on Friday welcomed a deal reached at UN-backed talks for Libya’s warring factions to set up an interim executive to rule the North African country until polls in December.
Turkey has backed the GNA with military advisers, materiel and mercenaries, repelling an advance on Tripoli by Haftar’s forces, and it also has a military base in Al-Watiya on the border with Tunisia under a 2019 military accord.
Last December, parliament in Ankara extended by 18 months its authorization for Turkey’s troop deployment in Libya, in apparent disregard of the cease-fire deal.
“The mercenaries are unlikely to leave Libya so long as the countries which have engaged them have not guaranteed their interests in the new transitional phase,” said Montasser, referring to the multiple tracks of UN-sponsored talks currently underway.
“Their presence keeps alive the threat of military confrontation at any moment, while the current calm staying in place seems uncertain,” he said.
Most of the foreign forces are concentrated around Sirte, at Al-Jufra airbase held by Haftar’s forces 500 km south of Tripoli and further west in Al-Watiya.