After the United Arab Emirates’ controversial deal to normalize ties with Israel, Turkey may downgrade its relations with the UAE, Turkey’s president has said.

"We may take steps to suspend diplomatic ties with the UAE or withdraw our ambassador," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul after Friday prayers.

On Israel, Erdogan called its recent solidarity with Egypt and Greece and steps towards Palestine unacceptable.

In signing a maritime pact last week, Athens and Cairo continued efforts to box in Ankara’s territory in the Mediterranean based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean.

Israel has taken steps towards closer relations with both Athens and Cairo.

 

Mistreatment of Turkish minority in Greece

Turning to the mistreatment of ethnic Turks in Greece’s Western Thrace region, where a number of Turkish schools were recently closed, Erdogan said that the gravesites of local Turks had recently come under attack, saying “these are not positive signs at all."

Greece's Western Thrace region – in the country’s northeast, near the Turkish border – is home to a substantial, long-established Muslim Turkish minority numbering around 150,000.

Decades of Greek mistreatment of the Turkish minority has been ignored by the EU, even as this violates international treaties, high court rulings, and the bloc’s own rules.

 

Libya

On the situation in Libya, Erdogan said a January meeting to help resolve the crisis there had fallen short, saying that "almost no country which was at the Berlin conference on Libya followed its requirements or rules."

At the conference, global powers and regional actors expressed commitment to support a cease-fire, respect the arms embargo, and support the UN-facilitated political process for Libya.

Turkish presidential aide censures Israel-UAE deal

Turkey’s presidential spokesperson on Thursday condemned the deal between the UAE and Israel.

“History will definitely record the defeat of those who betrayed the Palestinian people and their cause,” said Ibrahim Kalin on Twitter.

Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalize relations, US President Donald Trump announced Thursday, in a deal which includes Israel's pledge to "temporarily" postpone its annexation plan.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said he is “still committed” to annexing parts of the West Bank despite a normalization deal with the UAE.

The UAE will be the third Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

The normalization deal betrays Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause, the Palestinian Authority said on Thursday.

“The Palestinian leadership strongly rejects and condemns the surprising American, Israeli, and UAE declaration on normalization of relations,” Nabil Abu Rudeina, a Palestinian Authority spokesman, said in a televised statement.

“This step comes in light of Israel’s insistence on consecrating the occupation and the annexation of parts of the Palestinian territories,” he said.

Iran Slams UAE-Israel Deal as 'Dangerous' and 'Illegitimate'

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced that Israel and the United Arab Emirates had reached an agreement to establish full diplomatic ties in exchange for Tel Aviv suspending its planned extension of sovereignty over the West Bank.

Iran has slammed a deal concluded between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel that envisages normalisation of relations between the two states as "dangerous and illegitimate".

"The shameful measure by Abu Dhabi to reach an agreement with the fake Zionist regime (Israel) is a dangerous move and the UAE and other states that backed it will be responsible for its consequences", the Foreign Ministry said, according to IRNA. "This is stabbing the Palestinians in the back and will strengthen regional unity against the Zionist regime".

   

Deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 13, 2020

On Thursday, the United States, joined by the UAE and Israel, announced a deal between the three countries that envisages the normalization of relations between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, with the Jewish state agreeing to halt its plans to extend its sovereignty over the West Bank territories.

Israel previously planned to declare its sovereignty over parts of the West Bank marked for its appropriation under Trump's so-called "deal of the century". The extension was suspended, as Washington urged the Jewish state to halt the plans. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, however, stressed following the agreement, that "annexation plans are still on our tables", as the halt is not permanent.

With the agreement, the UAE becomes the third Arab country to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan, and the first such country in the Gulf to do so. 

In a Thursday statement, a Palestinian National Authority spokesperson said that the Palestinians condemn the announced agreement between Israel and the UAE.

"The Palestinian leadership announces its strong rejection and condemnation of the trilateral agreement to normalise relations between Israel and the UAE, mediated by the United States", the statement read.

The spokesperson noted that the PNA "views this step as an attempt to undermine the Arab peace initiative and the Arab League decision", branding it "an aggression against the Palestinian people".