Iran, Turkey condemn Israel-UAE deal

Iran, Turkey condemn Israel-UAE deal

Iran has said the establishment of diplomatic ties between its arch-rival Israel and the United Arab Emirates is a "dagger in the back" of all Muslims, while Turkey said the UAE had "betrayed" the Palestinian cause.

Iran and Turkey on Friday resoundingly condemned the normalization of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The US-brokered deal announced Thursday establishes full diplomatic relations between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, while haltingIsraeli plans for annexation of occupied land in the West Bank.

Iran called the deal a "dagger in the back" of all Muslims, according to a foreign ministry statement.

Tehran also said the deal was an act of "strategic stupidity" by the UAE, and "will undoubtedly strengthen the axis of resistance in the region.''

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday the deal amounts to "treason,'' and should be reversed.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement supporting the Palestinian administration, saying that the "history and the conscience" of the region's people will not forget and never forgive the "hypocritical behavior" of the United Arab Emirates in agreeing to a deal with Israel.

"While betraying the Palestinian cause to serve its narrow interests, the UAE is trying to present this as a kind of act of self-sacrifice for Palestine," the foreign ministry said.

Alignment against Iran?

Part of Washington's Middle East strategy under President Donald Trump has been to contain Iran by promoting diplomatic ties between Israel and the US' Gulf-state allies.

In its statement Friday, Tehran warned the UAE against allowing Israel to interfere in the "political equations" of the Persian Gulf region.

"The government of the Emirates and other accompanying states must accept responsibility for all the consequences" of the agreement, Tehran's statement continued.

The UAE has been growing its commercial and military clout in the Gulf region. For example, Abu Dhabi has been a leading member of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition opposing Tehran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen's civil war.

Germany supports deal

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Friday he congratulated his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenaz, on taking a "historic step" and welcomed Israel's suspension of annexation plans.

"The normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is an important contribution to peace in the region," Maas
said, according to the German Foreign Ministry.

"We hope that this agreement serves as a gateway for further positive developments in the region and gives the Middle East peace process new impetus," he added.

Who else supports the deal?

The agreement makes the UAE the first Gulf Arab state, and the third Arab country following Egypt and Jordan, to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.

In Thursday's announcement, Israel and the UAE said deals including travel, trade, embassies and security cooperation are expected in the coming weeks.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-SiSi praised the deal for "halting Israel's annexation of Palestinian land, and said he hoped it would bring "peace."

Jordan said Thursday that the deal's impact on the peace process is depends on the actions Israel will take. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safad said Israel must end its its "illegal actions" and its "violations of Palestinian rights".

As part of the deal, Israel pledged to suspend annexation of Palestinian lands, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later stressed that does not necessarily mean Israel will abandon plans to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements across the occupied West Bank.

US President Trump said he would host the Israeli and UAE leaders at the White House for the signing of the deal in around three weeks.

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