Israel and the United Arab Emirates assisted by the United States, reached a consensus over establishing formal diplomatic ties on August 13, referred to as the Abraham Accord. It includes business relations, tourism, direct flights, scientific cooperation, and in time, full diplomatic ties at the ambassadorial level. Aside from all, both countries will make their security cooperation transparent. Ironically, both countries and international think-tanks termed it a peace deal.

The Emirati government stated that the Abraham Accord stopped Israel from annexing parts of the west bank and provided an opportunity for Israel and Palestinians to renew negotiations to end their conflict. Whereas, it seems incredible as Prime Minister Netanyahu won the election on the manifesto of annexing the West Bank. Indeed, it has been suspended, but annexation would become a reality after the completion of the process of ties.

Just like in August 1907, Russia and United Kingdom signed the Anglo-Russian convention, which apparently settled their geostrategic differences and bought them into a rough alliance after nearly a century as bitter and bloody adversaries, the confrontation of Eurasia produced in part or in entirety, calamitous slaughters of the Crimean War, the Russo-Japanese War, the British invasions of Afghanistan in 1939 and 1878, a number of crises over Turkish traits and the endless competition across Central Asia recognised as the Great Game. Post WWII, it laid the template of the containment theory, leading to NATO, CENTO and SEATO.

There was one problem: the Anglo-Russian convention was not the product of more peaceful attitudes in London or St Petersburg, but of a dramatic shift in the balance of power and the rise of a new threat. Wilhelmine Germany made the convention possible—and far from stemming conflict, the convention made it worse. Now backed by England (and France), Russia asserted itself more forcefully in the Balkans, egging on a terroristic Serb regime against Austria and so transforming the Balkans into the horror of World War I. If Britain had continued to oppose Russian interventionism, history would have been different.

The lesson of the Anglo-Russian convention is that diplomatic events that bring closure to one long standing geostrategic rivalry may not be the great boon they appear. Instead, it might be a herald of worse to come. And that is the reason to be concerned about the deal between UAE and Israel.

Both the Emirates and Israel are long-standing strategic partners of the United States, and they share many views on the region: Iran is a hostile actor, Turkey is an increasing threat to regional stability, Qatar must be kept in a box in case and dissuaded to make trouble.

Much like Europe suffered from the consequences of the Industrial revolution, the Middle East is being turned inside out by the impact of the information revolution. The result was massive economic, cultural, and demographic shifts that inevitably created political turmoil; Iran’s green revolution of 2009; the Arab spring of 2011; civil wars in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sinai, Turkish Kurdistan and—to some extent Iraq—are part of this cataclysm. The unrest itself created new opportunities for Iran, which used the chaos and civil war to help its regional allies. Currently, Hezbollah rules Lebanon. Iran has greater influence in Syria and Yemen than ever before. It has influence in Iraq as well.

Turkey, under the leadership of Erdogan, after leaving the American-led NATO, intended to exert its influence in the region by using hard power activities. It aligned itself with the Chinese-led bloc and Iran in contemporary times. On the other side, Qatar’s derailing relations with UAE and the diverse interest from likewise countries put adversaries into stress.

Within the region, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Oman publicly welcomed the Abraham Accord. Bahrain is more likely to follow UAE. King Hammad has overseen steps towards normalisation, including letting Israeli officials attend a regional security meeting in a country. Additionally, the Israeli Foreign Minister has met with his Bahraini counterpart and his predecessor. Besides Oman, another candidate seems to be normalising ties in the near future. Morocco and Sudan might also seek to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Soon Jared Kushner, senior advisor of the Trump administration will visit Saudi-Arabia to persuade the leader to normalise ties with Israel, as the UAE did.

The direct and official involvement of Israel in the Middle Eastern region explicitly indicates the possibilities of uncertainty of the region in upcoming times.

Another side of the coin portrays that the alliance politics has started. The People’s Republic of China opted Iran as its strategic ally by investing $400 billion in its energy and infrastructure. In the other camp, Washington is playing its cards by aligning the bitter adversaries of Iran, which might be a menace to China’s massive investment in Iran and ambitions in the Middle Eastern region. Sudan was also prompted to normalise its ties which seems an attempt to counter China’s Djibouti Naval Base in Africa.

Pakistan, a significant country of the Muslim world, is emphatic to not normalise ties with Israel. The Gulf States’ strategic competition with Iran might affect Pakistan in forthcoming times as Iran is a next-door neighbour of Pakistan. A fire doesn’t burn one part of the palace but the whole structure.

History suggests that some deals tagged for peace give birth to a menace. The new war is in embers. It will conflagrate. The battleground would be the developing countries which would suffer the most in contemporary war. Thus, the haves will be the biggest beneficiaries.