The European Union on Friday welcomed the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to establish formal diplomatic ties.

“The normalisation of the relationship will benefit both the parties, and it is important for regional stability,” Nabila Massrali, the European Commission’s foreign policy spokeswoman, told reporters.

She added: “The EU is committed to a two-state solution, and it is ready to work on the resumption of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Under the deal, which was brokered by the United States, Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize relations, with Israel in return pledging only to "temporarily" postpone its West Bank annexation plan.

 With the agreement, the Emirates became the third Arab country to recognize Israel after Jordan and Egypt.

While the deal was welcomed by some countries, it triggered anger and outrage in most Muslim countries.

“With the deal, the UAE seeks instability in the region and betrays the Palestinian cause for its own interests,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called the deal a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa [mosque], and the Palestinian cause.”

UN spokesman welcomes UAE-Israeli agreement

 

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric welcomed the announcement of an agreement Thursday by Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations, saying it will create an opportunity to promote peace in the Middle East.   

Under the accord, Israel has agreed to suspend plans to annex areas of the occupied West Bank.

The deal came after a phone call between US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. 

“Annexation would effectively close the door for a renewal of negotiations and destroy the prospect of a viable Palestinian State and the two-State solution,” Dujarric said in a statement.  

He said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomes the agreement, “hoping it will create an opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to re-engage in meaningful negotiations.”  

Dujarric said Guterres “will continue to work with all sides to open further possibilities for dialogue, peace and stability.” 

The Palestinian leadership has rejected and denounced the announcement.  

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke by phone Thursday with Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh following the announcement of the deal.  

Haniyeh stressed support for the Palestinian leadership and Abbas in rejecting the US, UAE and Israeli tripartite announcement.  

Hamas also condemned the agreement, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of the Palestinian people. The Popular Resistance Committee stressed that the deal shows a vast conspiracy against the Palestinian people, while the Islamic Jihad Movement also decried the new deal, comparing it to a “surrender.”

Germany hopeful for peace in wake of UAE-Israel deal

Germany Friday welcomed the controversial deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations, saying it could pave the way for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.

“We hope that this agreement would also open once again the way for a negotiated two-state solution. This is what we support,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news briefing.

“Only such an agreement can bring permanent peace to the Middle East,” he added.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas echoed Seibert’s remarks, saying in a statement: “We hope this agreement will be the starting point for further positive developments in the region and that it will also give the Middle East peace process new impetus. We stand by our position that only a negotiated two-state solution can bring lasting peace in the Middle East.”

He added: “Together with our partners in Europe and the region, we have campaigned intensively in recent months against annexation and for the resumption of direct negotiations. We are also ready to actively support such a process.”

On Thursday, after years of secret contacts between the former enemies, the UAE became the first Gulf Arab country to reach a deal on normalizing relations with Israel.

With the agreement, the Emirates became the third Arab country to recognize Israel after Jordan and Egypt.

The agreement also secured an Israeli commitment to suspend but not halt further annexation of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, with annexation still “on the table,” according to Netanyahu.

While the deal was welcomed by some countries, it triggered anger and outrage in most Muslim countries.

“With the deal, the UAE seeks instability in the region and betrays the Palestinian cause for its own interests,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called the deal a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa [mosque], and the Palestinian cause.”