UAE-Israel relations

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By Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

The United Arab Emirates, in a shocking move, has announced to normalize its ties with Israel. It is not a matter of when and not if, as signaled by the US President Donald Trump. Speculations are growing with each passing day about which Arab or Muslim country will normalize its ties with Israel. After the UAE-Israel alliance, Iran issued a warning to launch an attack against the UAE. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called the UAE’s decisions a “huge mistake.” He also termed it as a betrayal.The daily newspaper of Iran, Kayhan, in its editorial states, “The UAE’s great betrayal of the Palestinian people … will turn this small, rich country, which is heavily dependent on security, into a legitimate and easy target.” UAE’s APEX National Investment company has also signed a strategic commercial agreement with Tera Group of Israel. They will collaborate on research and development related to Covid-19. According to APEX’s chairman Khalifa Yousef Khoury, “The deal is considered the first business [deal] to inaugurate trade, economy and effective partnerships between the Emirati and Israeli business sectors, for the benefit of serving humanity by strengthening research and studies on the novel coronavirus.” Moreover, the United States of America views UAE-Israel ties with satisfaction.US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman during a National Public Radio interview said, “The more the Emirates become a friend of Israel, become a partner of Israel, become a regional ally of the United States, I think obviously that alters the threat assessment and could work out to the Emirates’ benefit on future weapons sales.” Only time will tell how the countries of the Middle East, the Arab world, and the Muslim countries will react to the UAE-Israel partnership. Until now, it seems the UAE has stepped into the zone of no return. It is yet to be seen if the partnership will continue with the same force as it was manifested into a reality in the first place.