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The New Arab Staff

Israel's cabinet votes through UAE normalisation deal, with Netanyahu-bin Zayed meeting on the cards

Netanyahu and the Emirati FM signed the normalisation agreement in September [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 October, 2020

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Netanyahu said he and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan 'agreed to meet soon' during a phonecall ahead of the Knesset's vote on the normalisation accords
The Israeli government unanimously approved the country's recently signed normalisation agreement with the United Arab Emirates on Monday ahead of a ratification vote by parliament.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement following his weekly Cabinet meeting that he spoke over the weekend with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“We talked about co-operations that we are advancing — in investment, tourism, energy, technology and other fields,” Netanyahu told the Cabinet, with Israeli and Emirati flags flanking the conference table.

“We will also cooperate and are already cooperating in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.”

Netanyahu added that they "agreed to meet soon," and has confidence the Knesset will vote to ratifying the agreement on Thursday, as it "has massive support in Israel."

Sheikh Mohammed, the UAE’s day-to-day ruler, separately tweeted confirmation of the call Monday, saying they discussed “prospects for peace and the need for stability, cooperation and development in the region.”

Netanyahu’s office said it was the first conversation between the two leaders since the 15 September signing ceremony on the White House lawn he attended with the Emirates' foreign minister.

Neighbouring Gulf monarchy Bahrain also signed an agreement at the White House ceremony to normalise relations with Israel, making the UAE and Bahrain the third and fourth Arab states to establish ties with Israel.

Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994, respectively.

The weeks since the ceremony have seen a flurry of business, banking and intergovernmental agreements between the UAE and Israel, though moves toward normalisation have been slower in Bahrain.

However the agreement have been widely regarded as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause as they give Israel little incentive to end the occupation of Palestinian territory and agree to a sovereign Palestinian state.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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