‘Several’ Arab states on path to normalizing ties with Israel, says UAE foreign minister

Arab countries were at “different stages” in establishing relations with Israel, UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said on Thursday. (WAM/File Photo)
Short Url
Updated 20 August 2020

‘Several’ Arab states on path to normalizing ties with Israel, says UAE foreign minister

  • Gargash's comments came one week after the UAE and Israel signed a historic agreement to establish full diplomatic relations

LONDON: Arab countries were at “different stages” in establishing relations with Israel, UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said on Thursday.

Speaking during an event hosted by the US Atlantic Council think tank, Gargash said that “several Arab countries” are on the path to normalizing ties with Israel.

“The region does need a strategic breakthrough,” he said.

His comments came one week after the UAE and Israel signed a historic agreement to establish full diplomatic relations.

Gargash added that unlike Egypt and Jordan’s relations with Israel, the UAE’s relationship with Jerusalem in future will be a “warm peace.”

“This is going to be a warm peace because, unlike Jordan or Egypt, we have not fought a war with Israel,” Gargash said.

Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994.

The UAE minister said that while Palestinians were ultimately responsible for negotiations regarding their state, the suspension of a proposed annexation of Palestinian lands was one of the key tenets of the agreement for the Emiratis.

“The UAE saw an opportunity because we’ve always been urged by the Palestinians to help in stopping annexation. By linking (the agreement) to the suspension of annexation, we came out with a good deal.

“We expect our requests regarding the agreement with Israel to be fulfilled,” he added.

Gargash said that any potential UAE embassy in Israel “will be in Tel Aviv” — and not in Jerusalem.

US President Donald Trump moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018, recognizing the city as Israel’s capital.

The Emirati minister said he was “very encouraged” by support for the agreement from both sides of the US political divide, after Trump pushed for the agreement and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gave it his backing.

Following the deal, “we expect our strategic relationship with the US will develop much further,” Gargash said.

On Tuesday, UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al-Nahyan was visited by Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s foreign intelligence network Mossad.

The two discussed cooperation in several fields, according to Emirates News Agency.


Two Turkish troops killed in attack in northern Iraq

Updated 3 min 29 sec ago

Two Turkish troops killed in attack in northern Iraq

  • Turkey has regularly attacked Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants
  • Ankara launched a new ground offensive dubbed Operation Claw-Tiger
ANKARA: Two Turkish soldiers were killed and another was wounded after Kurdish militants fired rockets at a military base in northern Iraq, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Turkey has regularly attacked Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, both in its mainly Kurdish southeast and in northern Iraq, where the group is based. In June, Ankara launched a new ground offensive, dubbed Operation Claw-Tiger, that saw Turkish troops advance deeper into Iraq.
The ministry said “harassment fire” by rocket launchers on Thursday killed the two troops at one of Turkey’s bases in neighboring Iraq.
The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict focused in southeast Turkey.
In a separate statement, the Interior Ministry said 71 PKK militants had been killed since July 13 as part of a series of operations within Turkey, dubbed the “Lightning Operations,” and added 38 collaborators had also been captured.