Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 28 November 2020

UAE on ‘a courageous’ path to a stable region with Israel

'It inverts traditional thinking about the way to address the region’s problems,' their statement said

The UAE, US and Israel have reaffirmed that the accord reached by the three nations is "a courageous step towards a more stable, integrated and prosperous Middle East".

The conclusion came in a three-nation statement issued during the visit to the UAE by a top US-Israeli delegation, led by Jared Kushner, senior adviser to US President Donald Trump.

Their statement said: "The accord reached between the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates on August 13, 2020 is a courageous step towards a more stable, integrated and prosperous Middle East.

"It inverts traditional thinking about the way to address the region’s problems and challenges, focusing on pragmatic steps that have tangible, practical outcomes."

The three countries believe the accord promised "new bridges that will serve to de-escalate existing conflicts and prevent future conflicts".

They said the agreement came "at the right time".

"Over the last decade we have seen a marked increase in war, destruction and dislocation, and a growing demographic shift towards a younger population.

"If we are to meet the needs of current and future generations, we must be responding actively to all these changes."

Terming the accord "a historic breakthrough" the joint statement referred to the subsequent developments that signalled the normalising of "ties between Israel and the UAE and has led to the suspension of Israel’s plans to extend its sovereignty".

"On Saturday, the UAE formally abolished its 40-year boycott law, thereby allowing UAE companies and individuals to trade directly with Israel.

"Israeli and Emirati ministers, from foreign affairs to food security, have initiated their first official discussions on continuing and strengthening co-operation.

"We have already opened phone lines between the two countries and as we speak, Israelis and Emiratis are collaborating on research we hope will lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of Covid-19.

"Today we have witnessed the first commercial flight by Israel’s El Al airlines to the UAE, carrying both Israeli officials and media.

"Tomorrow, Emirati, Israeli and American officials will begin discussing bilateral technical co-operation in seven key areas: investment, finance, health, the civilian space programme, civil aviation, foreign policy and diplomatic affairs, and tourism and culture.

"The result will be broad co-operation between two of the region’s most innovative and dynamic economies."

The joint statement also called upon Palestinians to restart negotiations with Israel.

"The United States and the UAE urge Palestinian leaders to re-engage with their Israeli counterparts in discussions aimed at achieving peace."

The UAE and Israel expressed happiness over the "overwhelmingly positive response" to the accord from countries around the world and thanked President Trump "for his leadership and to his administration for the critical role it has played in achieving this diplomatic breakthrough".

The two countries also expressed their gratitude to the US Congress for "the broad bipartisan support" to the accord.

"We hope and expect that in the near future our collective efforts will set in motion a cascade of positive changes, both large and small, that will put our respective peoples and the wider region on a solid path to security, prosperity and peace."

Israeli and American officials travelled to Abu Dhabi on Monday on board the first commercial flight from Israel to the UAE since the accord was sealed.

Mr Kushner, who is Mr Trump's son-in-law and a key architect of Washington's Middle East policy, was on board.

He hailed the historic flight and praised Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, for his leadership and courage.

Sheikh Mohamed is "truly leading the new Middle East", Mr Kushner said.

"The very few who have been critical of this peace agreement are the ones with a long track record of failure," he said.

Updated: September 1, 2020 03:13 PM

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