US ambassador John Rakolta hails UAE-Israel deal

Normalisation of ties will bring broader peace in Middle East, says Washington's envoy to the Emirates

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 12 DECEMBER 2019. 
Brigadier General Miguel Castellanos, Deputy Director for Operations, U.S. Africa Command, speaking at UAE Security Forum 2019: Reshaping the Future of the Horn of Africa, at NYU AD.
(Photo Courtesy of AGSIW)

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John Rakolta, US ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, hailed the announcement of the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel as a bold step that will bring broader peace in the Middle East.

Mr Rakolta said that under the leadership of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the country had "taken a bold step towards securing broader peace in the Middle East for generations to come".

The agreement, known as the Abraham Accord and announced on Thursday, came in a joint call between Sheikh Mohamed, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They agreed that Israel will halt all annexation of Palestinian territories in exchange for establishing diplomatic ties with the UAE.

In an interview with the UAE's Wam news agency on Friday, Mr Rakolta said that in establishing relations with Israel, Sheikh Mohamed has shown again that the UAE is a leader in the region, becoming the first country of the GCC to recognise the benefits that normalisation will bring to the nation and to its citizens.

"We look forward to an increased co-operation between the UAE and Israel, as two of the most advanced nations in the region work together on issues as critical as healthcare, food security and trade," Mr Rakolta said.

"The United States is proud of its two great friends – the United Arab Emirates and Israel – and we applaud their vision and leadership in advancing regional peace now and in the future."

Delegations from Israel and the UAE will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, health care, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies and other areas of mutual benefit.

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