Mossad chief visits Abu Dhabi … and a direct phone line between Israel and the UAE | DW News Arabia Breaking news and perspectives from around the world | DW

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The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi made a phone call Sunday (August 16, 2020) to inaugurate telephone lines between the two countries after an agreement to normalize relations.
“His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (…) and Gabi Ashkenazi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, have inaugurated the lines of communication between the UAE and the State of Israel,” Hind Maneh Al-Otaiba, Director of Strategic Communication at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote on Twitter.

According to Al-Otaibi, the two officials affirmed “the commitment to fulfilling the provisions of the peace treaty between the two countries in order to advance peace and regional development.”
For his part, Ashkenazi said on Twitter, “I spoke today by phone with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the UAE, and we decided to launch direct communication between us in preparation for signing an agreement to normalize relations between the two countries, and to hold a meeting soon.”
This is the first time that an official phone call has been announced between officials from the two countries. And it became possible to call directly the Israeli phone lines from the Emirates.

According to the statement of the agreement between the two countries, it is expected that delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet during the coming weeks to sign agreements related to investment, tourism, direct flights, security, communications and other fields.Finalize the peace agreement

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation reported that the head of Israeli intelligence (Mossad) Yossi Cohen is expected to head to the UAE today, Sunday, to meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, “in order to elaborate the details of the peace agreement that will be signed between Israel and the UAE.”
She added that “relations between the two countries will be developed in several areas, including economic, scientific, technological, medical and cultural cooperation in the first stage, which will inevitably lead to the establishment of diplomatic relations.”

The authority quoted an Emirati source, describing it as official, that “the intention is to open two embassies in the two countries as soon as the agreement is signed, considering this step an embodiment of normalization.” It also quoted the source as saying that “it is obvious for both parties not to open the UAE embassy in Jerusalem.”

Meanwhile, the UAE National Investment Company, APEX, signed a “strategic trade agreement” with the Israeli Terra Group for cooperation in research and development related to Covid-19 disease, including the production of a test device, according to the official Emirates News Agency.

The agency quoted Khalifa Youssef Khoury, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Apex, as saying that the agreement “constitutes the first business to open trade, economy and effective partnership between the Emirati and Israeli business sectors for the benefit, good and service of humanity by strengthening research and studies on the Coronavirus.”

The agreement was signed at a press conference in Abu Dhabi and comes after Israel and the UAE announced last Thursday the full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries, under American auspices.

The Emirates News Agency (WAM) said, “Biosafety tests of Terra Group have been conducted in many countries around the world, including the Emirates Field Hospital in Abu Dhabi, and they will be applied at the level of the United Arab Emirates in general.”

“We don’t put pressure on anyone”

After the step of normalization between the two countries, attention turned to what the rest of the Gulf states will do with Israel, in light of indications that similar steps will be announced soon. In this context, on Saturday, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker held a dialogue with the founder and CEO of the Reconsense Center for Research and Studies, Abdulaziz Al-Anjari, in which he denied any pressure on any country to reach an agreement for normalization with Israel, stressing that any decision taken by neighboring Kuwait regarding relations with Israel will be a sovereign decision and will not affect the partnership between the two countries.

Schenker praised the announced agreement that will develop cooperation between Israel and the UAE and make it more open when it enters the stage of exchanging diplomatic representation, and will facilitate the United States’ cooperation with these two countries in the region, in a way that enhances, in particular, security stability and economic cooperation.

Schenker went on to say, “I think that the signing of these agreements created the conditions for that economic growth and development. As for the Palestinians, I think it is a serious wake-up call, and that they should engage in negotiations either with the Israelis or with the Americans … and they should realize the special interests of each Arab country and start negotiating.” And the Arab countries should not be hostages to a Palestinian leadership not interested in negotiations. “

WB / MS (Reuters, dpa)





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