Middle East Notes and Comment: The Significance of the UAE-Israel Deal
September 15, 2020
Today leaders from Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an agreement to pursue normalized relations. The Bahraini foreign minister agreed in recent days to sign a similar agreement at the same event, but the Israel-UAE agreement appears much more robust and consequential.
Read Jon Alterman's Critical Questions on the CSIS website.
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In the News
Of UAE-Israel normalization, Jon told ABC News that "this started under the Obama administration, this is not a sudden realization, the Israelis have been extremely focused on this." (09/15/20).
Jon told al Jazeera that the UAE-Israel deal showed that the Trump administration was capable of diplomatic maneuvers separate from doing "things quickly with presidential involvement." (09/13/20).
Will Todman spoke to Al-Monitor about how the Lebanese government has deliberately restricted refugees from developing permanent ties in Lebanon. (09/12/20).
“Bahrain is likely to have secured Saudi Arabia's approval before making the announcement, given the close ties between the two kingdoms,” said Will about Bahrain normalizing relations with Israel to Voice of America. (09/11/20).
Jon told Financial Times that while Bahrain normalizing relations with Israel "would have been co-ordinated closely with the Saudis," Riyadh was unlikely to normalize with Israel itself. (09/11/20).
“They are pushing our allies to balance against us, along with our adversaries,” said Jon about U.S. foreign policy on Iran in a NYTimes article. (08/20/20).
The UAE's diplomatic effort was "seriously spurred by the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, which pushed the UAE once again to differentiate itself from Saudi Arabia," said Jon to Politico. (08/13/20).