Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday formally announced the peace deal reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, calling the agreement a “historic” achievement for the Middle East.
“This is a historic evening. A new era has opened in Israel’s relationship with the Arab world. Earlier today I had a historic teleconference with US President Donald Trump, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed,” Netanyahu said in a press conference.
“During this call, we agreed to a full recognition and peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is one of the most powerful and advanced countries in the world.”
“The agreement includes full diplomatic relations, the establishment of embassies; the exchange of ambassadors; broad investments which will greatly benefit the Israeli economy, especially now during the coronavirus crisis, but also in general; tourism and direct flights between Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi.”
“The United Arab Emirates will be investing in Israel a very significant sum towards the development of a coronavirus vaccine.”
“This is very important for our economy, for the region’s economy, and for our future.”
“There will be more Arab and Muslim countries which will join the peace process. All of us, the moderate states of the Middle East, are standing in a united front in favor of progress and against the radicals who threaten us and world peace.”
Netanyahu said the peace deal amounted to a “peace for peace” arrangement, as no land was traded in the agreement.
“We’ve innovated a new path: peace for peace. That is the only sustainable formula for peace.”
Turning to Israel’s commitment to “suspend” its plan to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, Netanyahu hinted that this agreement did not mark the end of his sovereignty plan, but merely a temporary delay.
“Just as I promised I would bring peace with the Arab world…I also said that I would apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria. There is no change in my plan to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria in full coordination with the US. That hasn’t changed.”
“I want to remind you that I’m the one who put the issue of Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria on the table. This issue will remain on the table. It only went on the table because of my efforts. I worked on it for three years with intensive talks with President Trump.”
“I always said that the implementation of the sovereignty plan would only take place in coordination with the US. Declaring sovereignty without US support would at best be worthless, and worst would seriously hurt the settlements and the State of Israel.”
“Now, Trump, who agreed to include the application of sovereignty in his peace plan, asked that Israel delay – temporarily – declaring sovereignty. We first need to secure the peace deal with the United Arab Emirates, and I believe with other states as well.”
“Just as I brought peace with an Arab state, so too will I apply sovereignty.”
“I’m committed to sovereignty. I’m committed to the Land of Israel, and I will never surrender our rights to this land.”
“President Trump and his team requested a temporary – and I repeat, temporary – delay so that the peace process can move forward, and I agreed.”