Iran, Turkey slam UAE over peace deal with Israel

Iran and Turkey lashed out at their regional rival UAE on Friday over its decision to normalise diplomatic relations with Israel, accusing it of betraying the Palestinian cause, even as much of the international community welcomed the move.

The US envoy to Israel, meanwhile, said Israel’s plans to annex West Bank was not “off the table”.

Iran’s foreign ministry called the US-brokered deal a “dagger that was unjustly struck by the UAE in the backs of the Palestinian people and all Muslims”.

Turkey said the peoples of the region “will never forget and will never forgive this hypocritical behaviour” by the UAE.

The UAE, which has never fought Israel and has quietly been improving ties for years, said the agreement put a hold on Israel’s plans to unilaterally annex parts of the occupied West Bank, which the Palestinians view as the heartland of their future state.

But the Turkish foreign ministry said the UAE had no authority to negotiate with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians or “to make concessions on matters vital to Palestine”.

The agreement would make the UAE the first Gulf Arab state – and the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan – to have full diplomatic ties with Israel. The Palestinians said the deal amounts to “treason” and have called on Arab and Muslim countries to oppose it.

The official Palestinian news agency says the Palestinian ambassador to the UAE is being recalled.

Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas welcomed both the agreement and the decision to suspend annexation and called to congratulate his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi on “this historic step”. China also said it welcomes “any measure that helps in easing tensions between Middle Eastern countries and promotes regional peace and stability”.

The US ambassador to Israel said Israel has not abandoned its plan to annex the West Bank despite Thursday’s agreement.

“It’s not off the table, it’s just something that will be deferred until we give peace every single chance,” David Friedman said at a news conference alongside President Donald Trump.

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