Israeli government approves normalization deal with UAE

JERUSALEM (AP) — On Monday, before a parliamentary confirmation session, Israel's Cabinet overwhelmingly agreed the recently-signed standardization deal with the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement following his weekly Cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, he met with Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Prince of Abu Dhabi, over the weekend.

"To the conference table Netanyahu told the cabinet that we were addressing collaboration we are advancing in the finance, tourism, electricity, technology and other fields.

"They are still cooperating in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic and are already cooperating."

Sheik Mohammed, the day-to-day UAE minister, separately tweeted the call Monday and said he spoke about 'Peace prospects and the need to stabilize, co-operate and expand in the region.'

The office of Netanyahu has said that this was his first communication with the Foreign Minister of the Emirates since the Sept. 15 signing ceremony at the White House lawn.

The Knesset is due to vote on Thursday to ratify the agreement.

On Sept. 15, a White House agreement on a normalization of relations with Israel was also signed with neighboring Gulf Monarchy Bahrain, making the UAE and Bahrain the third and fourth arab state to form ties with Israel.

In 1979 and 1994, Egypt and Jordan concluded peace deals with Israel.

In recent years, Israel and numerous Gulf states – based on a common concern about regional competitor Iran – were publicly connected to the so-called "Abraham agreements."

In the past few weeks business, banking, and intergovernmental agreements have flourished between the US and Israel, but in Bahrain there have been less progress on normalization.

The normalization agreements were indignant for the Palestinians whose leaders called the deal a trait of a long-standing Arab stance, that Israel would only be recognized once Palestinians obtained their own independent state.