UAE became the first Gulf country to establish diplomatic relations with Israel

Published: August 14, 2020

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the first-ever Gulf country and the third in the Arab world to establish diplomatic relations with Israel as part of a deal to halt the controversial annexation of parts of the West Bank that Palestinians see as part of their future state. US President has hailed this move.

Background

Jordan and Egypt are the other two nations who have diplomatic relations with Israel under the peace agreements. These agreements have seen several storms over the decades but they have held firm. In 2020, UAE attended the White House Reception in the USA during which the US President presented his vision for peace and also appreciated for the support provided by the UAE.

Significance of this Move

This move opens the ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economies. It will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation and forging closer people-to-people relations. This will also work towards helping save Muslim, Jewish and Christian lives in the region. Under the deal, UAE and Israel will also expand cooperation on the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for the Coronavirus.

What are the Concerns?

Apart from the positive consequences, there are certain concerns also of this move. The United Nations, Arab and the European countries are of the opinion that it would effectively finish any chance of reaching a two-state solution with an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel-Palestine Issue

The conflict started in 1917 when the UK supported a separate Palestine state under the Balfour Declaration. In 1948, the UK withdrew from the region being unable to contain the violence between the Arabs and the Jewish people, leaving the responsibility to solve it to the United Nations. UN presented a plan that was accepted by the Jews in Palestine but the Arabs did not support it.   In 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed but in 1967, during the six-day war, Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt. Since then, the UN has granted Palestine ‘non-member observer state’ but Israel is not ready to accept the UN proposal put forward in 1947. That conflict still persists. India supports the PLO as it was one of the first countries to recognize it.

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