Israeli parliament backs UAE, Bahrain normalization deals

1 / 2
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, arrives at the Israeli Knesset, or Parliament in Jerusalem ahead of the discussion of the peace treaty with the UAE, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP)
2 / 2
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wears a protective face mask as he arrives to attend a vote on the approval of the normalisation deal with the UAE at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem October 15, 2020. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 15 October 2020

Israeli parliament backs UAE, Bahrain normalization deals

  • A total of 80 lawmakers voted to approve the US-brokered agreements, with 13 against, members of Israel’s United Arab List party
  • The UAE in August became the first Arab nation to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, followed after by Bahrain

JERUSALEM: Israel’s parliament voted Thursday in favor of the normalization of ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain after a marathon debate with over 100 speeches lasting more than eight hours.
A total of 80 lawmakers voted to approve the US-brokered agreements, with 13 against, members of Israel’s United Arab List party.
“This historic agreement... will bring us closer to other countries in the region to sign other peace agreements,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu said Israel had contact recently with another country in the region for the first time, but did not reveal its name.
The UAE in August became the first Arab nation to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, followed after by Bahrain.
The US-brokered deals were formalized at the White House on September 15.
The Gulf agreements were condemned by the Palestinians as a “betrayal,” and broke with years of Arab League policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The US administration is trying to broker other deals between the Jewish state and other Arab nations.


Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

Updated 34 min 41 sec ago

Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

  • Hariri immediately promised a government of technocrats committed to a French-backed reform plan
  • He has previously led three governments in Lebanon

BEIRUT: Three-time Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri was named to the post for a fourth time Thursday and immediately promised a government of technocrats committed to a French-backed reform plan.
Hariri said he would “form a cabinet of non politically aligned experts with the mission of economic, financial and administrative reforms contained in the French initiative roadmap.”
“I will work on forming a government quickly because time is running out and this is the only and last chance facing our country,” he added.
President Michel Aoun named Hariri to form a new cabinet to lift the country out of crisis after most parliamentary blocs backed his nomination.
Hariri, who has previously led three governments in Lebanon, stepped down almost a year ago under pressure from unprecedented protests against the political class.
“The president summoned... Saad Al-Deen Al-Hariri to task him with forming a government,” a spokesman for the presidency said.
Hariri was backed by a majority of 65 lawmakers, while 53 abstained.
Lebanon is grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades and still reeling from a devastating port blast that killed more than 200 people and ravaged large parts of Beirut in August.
Aoun warned Wednesday that the new prime minister, the third in a year, would have to spearhead reforms and battle corruption.
A relatively unknown diplomat, Mustapha Adib, had been nominated in late August following the resignation of his predecessor Hassan Diab’s government in the aftermath of the deadly port blast.
Adib had vowed to form a cabinet of experts, in line with conditions set by French President Emmanuel Macron to help rescue the corruption-ridden country from its worst ever economic crisis.
He faced resistance from some of the main parties however and threw in the towel nearly a month later, leaving Lebanon rudderless to face soaring poverty and the aftermath of its worst peacetime disaster.