While there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Palestinian Authority, many Arab states openly praised the upcoming peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“I value the effort of those embarking upon this agreement for the sake of achieving prosperity and stability for our region,” said Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah el-Sissi in an official statement.
The government of Bahrain issued a statement thanking the UAE for “advancing the region towards peace.”
Saudi Minister of Information and Culture Adel al-Toraifi said he expected to see more of the same from fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.
“It’s time for GCC states to move beyond the destructive discourse of false Arab Nationalism and Terrorist Islamists. GCC states should urge Palestinians to drop Hamas’s terrorism & seek a modern state,” al-Toraifi wrote on Twitter.
A historic decision & will have an important impact on regional peace efforts. It’s time for GCC states to move beyond the destructive discourse of false Arab Nationalism and Terrorist Islamists. GCC states should urge Palestinians to drop Hamas’s terrorism & seek a modern state. https://t.co/gM1PyDa6QE
— عادل الطريفي (@AdelAlToraifi) August 13, 2020
The responses to the Israel-UAE deal from the Arab world sparked immediate speculation over which Arab state might be next to normalize relations with the Jewish state.
An Israeli official familiar with the process told the Kan public broadcaster that Bahrain is expected to follow in the UAE’s footsteps in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, an American official told Palestinian media that both Bahrain and Oman would sign peace deals with Israel in the near future. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was invited to Oman for an official state visit in 2018.
In addressing the UAE announcement on Thursday night, Netanyahu noted that already for years “many, many states see Israel as a strategic ally for stability, for security, for advancement and also for peace,” and predicted that “there will be other Arab and Muslim states that will join the circle of peace with us.”
Senior Trump Administration advisor Jared Kushner confirmed that the US is already in advanced talks with several other Arab states to normalize relations with Israel, and hinted that additional peace deals would be announced in the coming months.
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