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Fri 14 Aug 2020 09:52 AM

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Israel-UAE talks to begin in 'coming weeks', says UAE's US ambassador

In a statement, ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said that the UAE will continue to be a 'strong supporter' of the Palestinians

Israel-UAE talks to begin in 'coming weeks', says UAE's US ambassador

UAE ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba.

Talks to begin implementing the normalisation of ties between the UAE and Israel will start“in the coming weeks”, according to the UAE’s ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba. 

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced what he termed a ‘historic peace agreement’ between the two nations. In a joint statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said that they had agreed “to a full normalisation” of ties between the two countries, a “diplomatic breakthrough” that was done at “the request of President Trump.”

In a statement, Al Otaiba said that talks to implement the agreement will start “in the coming weeks”. 

“Most urgently, the UAE and Israel will expand and intensify our cooperation on fighting the coronavirus,” he added. “Near-term plans also include discussions on visa access, air telecommunications and shipping links; collaboration on health, water and food security, climate change, technology and energy, cultural and educational exchanges, ministerial-level visits, and a reciprocal exchange of embassies.”

The statement added that the agreement between the two countries “creates new dynamics and possibilities in the peace process”. 

“The UAE will continue to remain a strong supporter of the Palestinian people - for their dignity, their rights and their own sovereign state,” Al Otaiba added. “They must benefit too in normalisation. As we have for fifty years, we will forcefully advocate for these ends, now directly and bolstered with stronger incentives, policy options and diplomatic tools.” 

On Twitter, Israel’s ambassador in the US, Ron Dermer commended the “courage” of Mohamed bin Zayed for the agreement, which he compared to the Egypt-Israel peace treaty in 1979 and the Israel-Jordan peace treaty in 1994. 

“Israel deeply appreciates all @Potus Trump has done to make this breakthrough possible,” Dermer wrote. “More to come.” 

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