Iran and Turkey on Friday lashed out at their regional rival UAE over its decision to normalise diplomatic relations with Israel, accusing it of betraying the Palestinian cause, even as much of the international community welcomed the move.
Iran’s foreign ministry called the US-brokered deal a “dagger that was unjustly struck by the UAE in the backs of the Palestinian people and all Muslims”.
Meanwhile, the US envoy to Israel said that Israel’s plans to annex West Bank was not “off the table”.
Turkey said the peoples of the region “will never forget and will never forgive this hypocritical behaviour” by the UAE.
Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas welcomed both the agreement and the decision to suspend annexation and called to congratulate his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi on “this historic step”.
The UAE, which has never fought Israel and has quietly been improving ties for years, said the agreement put a hold on Israel’s plans to unilaterally annex parts of the occupied West Bank, which the Palestinians view as the heartland of their future state.
The agreement would make the UAE the first Gulf Arab state – and the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan – to have full diplomatic ties with Israel. The Palestinians said the deal amounts to “treason” and have called on Arab and Muslim countries to oppose it.
During a press briefing, David Friedman said, “It’s not off the table, it’s just something that will be deferred until we give peace every single chance”.
(With inputs from agency)