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International: Israeli Cabinet authorizes Israel-Middle East Peace Treaty

October 12, 2020 | EASTERN PILOT Report By: LAHAV HARKOV Netanyahu, UAE leader speak, agree to have in-person meeting. The cabinet voted una...

October 12, 2020 | EASTERN PILOT


Netanyahu, UAE leader speak, agree to have in-person meeting. The cabinet voted unanimously in favor of the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Monday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed spoke on the phone over the weekend. Netanyahu called bin Zayed his friend in his opening remarks at the cabinet meeting.

“I invited him to visit Israel, and he invited me to visit Abu Dhabi,” he said. “But before that, we will see a delegation from the UAE here and another delegation of ours will go there.” The upcoming UAE delegation will pay a reciprocal visit after a group of high-level Israeli officials led by National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat flew to Abu Dhabi in August. Netanyahu promised that the UAE delegation will be met “with the same warmth and great excitement” as the Israeli delegation in Abu Dhabi.

Peace between Israel and the UAE “express the dramatic change in Israel’s standing in the region,” Netanyahu said. “Arab states want to make peace with us, because they see how we turned Israel into a superpower. “They also see how we stand up to Iran, sometimes alone against the whole world. They understand that we can help them in many areas. They see that Israel is not only not a burden and not an enemy, it is a necessary ally,” he added. Netanyahu said he has no doubt more peace agreements between Israel and Arab and Muslim countries are on the way.

The Israeli and Emirati leaders discussed cooperation in investments, tourism, energy, technology and more, as well as a partnership combatting coronavirus. They also expressed their appreciation for US President Donald Trump and the US for supporting their peacemaking efforts. Netanyahu and bin Zayed spoke for the first time since Netanyahu and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed signed the treaty on the White House South Lawn on September 15. Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz praised the peace treaty and called for there to be more, while ensuring Israel's security.

"I have been working on the agreement with the Emirates and its security ramifications with the American authorities," Gantz said, a reference to the UAE's request to buy F-35 fighter jets from the US. Israel opposes the sale, arguing that it would weaken its qualitatie military edge in the Middle East. "The agreement will be promoted while protecting Israel's security interests," Gantz added. "We cannot rest in our efforts for peace with other partnersh in the region. It is our moral and national responsibility." Monday’s cabinet vote was only be on peace with the UAE because the peace treaty with Bahrain has yet to be written.

A vote in the Knesset is set to take place on Thursday, and is expected to pass with little opposition.
The “Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization Between the United Arab Emirates and The State of Israel” commits its signatories to “continuing their efforts to achieve a just, comprehensive, realistic and enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and to “working together to realize a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that meets the legitimate needs and aspirations of both peoples, and to advance comprehensive Middle East peace, stability and prosperity.”

The agreement avoids any topics that may be controversial, such as a Palestinian state, the suspension of Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria or American arms sales to Abu Dhabi. The peace documents between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain are also known as the “Abraham Accords,” and as such, highlight interfaith tolerance. The UAE-Israel treaty states the signatories are “recognizing that the Arab and Jewish peoples are descendants of a common ancestor, Abraham, and inspired, in that spirit, to foster in the Middle East a reality in which Muslims, Jews, Christians and peoples of all faiths, denominations, beliefs and nationalities live in, and are committed to, a spirit of coexistence, mutual understanding and mutual respect.”

On the practical level, the parties agreed to establish peace, diplomatic relations and normalization, to exchange ambassadors and opening embassies, and cooperate in finance and investment, civil aviation, consular services, innovation trade and economic relations, healthcare, science, technology and “peaceful uses of outer space,” education and more.


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