The United Arab Emirates reported that its decision to normalize relations with Israel isn’t about the conflict with Iran, and rejected criticism of the pact from Turkey’s leader.
Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, declared in a phone interview: This is not about Iran. This is about the UAE, Israel and the United States, he added: This is in no way meant to create some sort of grouping against Iran.
While the American President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have tried to enter the agreement as part of their attempt to confront and isolate Iran, however, Gargash signaled that the UAE isn’t looking to provoke its near neighbor. He said: We have a very complicated relationship with Iran, and added: While we have our concerns, we feel also that resolving these issues should be through diplomacy and de-escalation.
On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reported that Turkey could withdraw its ambassador to the UAE over the country’s agreement with Israel, and also said that it dealt a blow to Palestinian rights. Gargash rejected the statement as a double standard which glossed over Turkey’s own significant trade links with Israel.
Moreover, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs said: They receive over half a million Israeli tourists, have $2 billion worth of bilateral trade and an existing embassy there. And I ask myself whether this is a principled position or not.
According to this deal, Israel agreed to put aside, for now, its pledge to annex West Bank land the Palestinians want for a state. In this context, Gargash said: We have been very concerned with the issue of annexation, he added: Through this imaginative proclamation, we have at least been able to give negotiations space.