UAE, Israel establish direct phone service after deal
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – International Relations; Bilateral agreements
Context: The Israeli and UAE Foreign Ministers inaugurated on Sunday direct phone services between the two countries in their ﬁrst announced call after an peace agreement to normalise relations, said an Emirati oﬃcial.
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- The UAE has become the first Gulf Arab state to do so and only the third Arab nation to have active diplomatic ties with Israel.
Impact on the UAE:
- The deal smoothens the UAE’s international campaign to be seen as a beacon of tolerance in the Middle East despite being governed by autocratic rulers.
- It puts the UAE out first in a regional recognition race among neighbouring Gulf Arab states.
Impact on Israel:
- The announcement justifies the year-long claims of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his government enjoys closer ties to Arab nations than publicly acknowledged.
- The deal gives Netanyahu a domestic boost at a time when Israel’s coalition government is facing infighting and the possibility of early elections.
Important value additions:
- Under the deal, Israel would suspend its plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.
- The West Bank is sandwiched between Israel and Jordan. One of its major cities is Ramallah, the de facto administrative capital of Palestine.
- Israel took control of it in the Six-day Arab-Israeli war, 1967 and has over the years established settlements there.
- A joint statement from the USA, the UAE and Israel has been issued which says that delegations would meet in the coming weeks to sign deals on direct flights, security, telecommunications, energy, tourism and health care.
- Both nations will also partner on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic together.
- It remains unclear what prompted Israel and the UAE to make the announcement now.
- In June 2020, the UAE’s ambassador to the USA warned that Israel’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley and other parts of the occupied West Bank would upend Israel’s efforts to improve ties with Arab nations.