By Ali Abo Rezeg and Zehra Nur Duz
ANKARA (AA) - Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday touted his country’s new peace deal with the United Arab Emirates as “historic.”
Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, also hailed the new agreement, claiming Abu Dhabi's move will “serve the Palestinian cause.”
The official Emirates News Agency reported that Israeli and UAE officials will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements in several areas.
Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalize relations, US President Donald Trump said Thursday, in a move forestalling Israel's controversial plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.
A joint statement from the US, UAE, and Israel said the "breakthrough" will promote "peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders,” referring to Trump, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and Netanyahu.
Under the deal, Israel will "suspend" plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank "and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world," according to the statement.
"The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal," it added.
The development marks only the third time an Arab nation has opened full diplomatic ties with Israel, and the Emirates is now the first Gulf Arab state to do so. The other Arab nations with diplomatic ties with Israel are Egypt and Jordan.