The United Arab Emirates and Israel are due to sign in three weeks in Washington a historic agreement intended to normalize their relations, which would make Abu Dhabi the third Arab capital only to follow this path since the creation of the Hebrew state, even if the readings differ on the Israeli project of annexation of Palestinian territories.
In the eyes of the Emirates, in exchange for this agreement, Israel agreed to “put an end to the continued annexation of the Palestinian territories”. “In a call between President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, an agreement was reached to end any further annexation,” Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said on his account Twitter.
But Benjamin Netanyahu did not confirm, far from it: the annexation of parts of this occupied Palestinian territory is “postponed” but Israel “has not given up”. “I brought peace, I will achieve annexation,” he even proclaimed.
“The wording was chosen with care by the various parties. + Temporary break +, it is not ruled out definitively, ”said the American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.
Welcoming the agreement reached, France ruled that “the decision, taken in this context by the Israeli authorities, to suspend the annexation of Palestinian territories is a positive step, which must become a definitive measure”, according to the head of the French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Egypt and Jordan, the only two Arab countries to maintain diplomatic ties with the Jewish state after the peace treaties concluded in 1979 and 1994 respectively, have remained measured.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose country is an ally of the Emirates and the United States, soberly welcomed the agreement, saying it would prevent an annexation of parts of the West Bank.
Jordan has neither welcomed nor rejected the agreement, judging that its future will depend on the next actions of Israel, which must put an end to “its illegal enterprise” of occupation of territories, according to Aymane Safadi, head of diplomacy Jordanian.
– “Historical day” –
The announcement of the agreement was made by Donald Trump in a tweet: “A HUGE step forward,” the US president tweeted, praising a “historic peace agreement” between “two BIG friends” of Washington. He later said that the agreement would be signed “in the next three weeks” in Washington, in the presence of the two leaders, Israel and the Emirates.
Establishing diplomatic relations between Israel and US allies in the Middle East, including the wealthy Gulf monarchies, is a key objective of Mr. Trump’s regional strategy to contain the enemy Islamic Republic of Iran. intimate with Washington and the Hebrew state. Since its founding in 1948, Israel has for its part had tumultuous relations with the Muslim and Arab world.
For Benjamin Netanyahu, this is a “historic day”, an agreement that represents a “new era” for the Arab world and Israel.
At this time, the announcement is also a major achievement in foreign policy for Mr. Trump, as the campaign for his re-election in November promises to be difficult.
Unveiled in January, a plan by Mr. Trump for the Middle East, immediately rejected by the Palestinians and criticized by the international community, had offered Israel the possibility of annexing Jewish territories and settlements in the West Bank, considered illegal by the eyes. of international law.
The agreement is in any case a “victory” for diplomacy, commented the Ambassador of the Emirates in Washington, Youssef al-Otaïba on Twitter. “This is a step forward for relations between Israel and the Arab countries”, he added, stressing that the agreement “preserves the option of two states (Israeli and Palestinian), defended by the Arab League and the International community “.
In the same vein, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash stressed that the agreement opened the way for the two-state option.
“Most countries will see this as a courageous initiative to guarantee a two-state solution, following negotiations,” he said at a press conference.
He did not want to give a precise date for the opening of embassies between Abu Dhabi and Israel, specifying however that this would take place “soon”.
The two-state option has so far been ignored by President Trump, whose peace plan makes no reference to a Palestinian state living alongside Israel.
Welcoming the agreement in a statement, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he hoped it would create “an opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume substantive negotiations, leading to a two-state solution in accordance with UN resolutions. in the matter ”.
– Palestinians headlong against the agreement –
For his part, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hailed “a significant step forward for peace in the Middle East”.
“The United States hopes this courageous step will be the first in a series of agreements that will end 72 years of hostilities in the region,” Pompeo said.
But Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority has called the normalization agreement “betrayal” and called for an “emergency meeting” of the Arab League to denounce it. In protest, she also ordered the “immediate” recall of the Palestinian ambassador to Abu Dhabi.
“The Palestinian leadership rejects what the United Arab Emirates has done. This is a betrayal of Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause, ”the Palestinian leadership said in a statement calling for an“ emergency meeting ”of the Arab League to denounce the US-backed project.
Palestinian Hamas also condemned it. This agreement “does not serve the Palestinian cause but is seen as a continuation of the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people,” Hazem Qassem, spokesperson for the Islamist movement in power in the Gaza Strip, told AFP.
LNT avec Afp