In a historic visit, a delegation of UAE’ senior officials visited Israel for the first time, after the peace treaty, brokered by the US, was signed between the two countries. The delegation was accompanied by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“The Abraham Accords establish direct economic ties between two of the Middle East’s most thriving and advanced economies,” Mnuchin said at the ceremony. “These ties create a tremendous foundation for economic growth, opportunity, innovation and prosperity. With greater economic prosperity comes stronger security.”
The Cabinet ratified the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and approved submitting "The Establishment of Diplomatic, Peaceful and Friendly Relations between the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain" for Knesset approval.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) October 25, 2020
While the visit is a step in the direction of cementing bilateral ties between two historic foes, the move was slammed by Palestinians. According to a report in NAR, the agreements signed between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi include one on visa exemption making the UAE the first Arab nation to lift visa restrictions on Israeli nationals, as well as on aviation, investment, science and innovation.
This week, in a a landmark moment for the Middle East, delegations from 🇦🇪 & 🇺🇸 landed in 🇮🇱 for a summit which included the signing of new bilateral agreements between Israel and the #UAE, as well as the creation of a trilateral fund that will further prosperity in the region. pic.twitter.com/6F1jaCny1v
— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) October 21, 2020
The Palestinians took to social media expressing their anger on the ‘Israeli occupation’ and the restrictions on the Palestinians.
Meanwhile Palestinians wishing to visit their own religious sites, cultural institutions or relatives in Jerusalem can only do so with a permit from the Israeli occupation. https://t.co/lzlX9UMCyH
— Khaled Elgindy (@elgindy_) October 19, 2020
In another development, UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed’s decision to name a prominent street near the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center — the largest exhibition venue in the Middle East — after Indonesian President.
The renaming of the street as “President Joko Widodo St” is seen as an attempt to woo the country with the world’s largest Muslim population.
“The normalization of UAE-Israeli and Bahrain-Israeli relations will not change Indonesia’s stance on Palestine,” Indonesian foreign ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said last month.
“To Indonesia, the settlement of the Palestine issue requires respect to the relevant UN Security Council resolution … including on the two-state solution. We must ensure that all initiatives for peace will not fail [that].”
While Indonesia supports the Palestinian issue, the country has well established economic ties with Abu Dhabi. In July, the UAE became the first country with which Indonesia built a travel corridor for essential business trips during the pandemic, reported Nikkei Asia.
While Indonesia hasn’t said anything negative about the peace treaty, it is yet to see how it balances between the two issues, its economic and friendly ties with Abu Dhabi and its support for the Palestinian issue.