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Joe Biden welcomes 'historic' Israel-UAE peace deal

Biden welcomed the move to suspend Israel's annexation plans [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 August, 2020

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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden welcomed the deal as a 'brave act of statesmanship'.
Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden welcomed Thursday's US-brokered peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates as a "historic step" that will help ease tensions in the region.

"Today, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have taken a historic step to bridge the deep divides of the Middle East," the former vice president and foreign policy stalwart said in a statement about the deal which was announced by his election rival, US President Donald Trump.

"The UAE's offer to publicly recognise the State of Israel is a welcome, brave, and badly-needed act of statesmanship" that will help ensure Israel remains an "integral" part of the Middle East, he said.

Read more: Can a Biden-Harris ticket fix America's broken Middle East policy?

In the bombshell agreement, the Jewish state agreed to suspend its plans to annex occupied Palestinian West Bank areas in exchange for a normalisation of relations with the UAE.

"Annexation would be a body blow to the cause of peace, which is why I oppose it now and would oppose it as president," Biden said. "It would virtually end any chance of a two-state solution."

Biden's statement made no mention of Trump, saying instead that the deal was built on efforts by "multiple administrations", including the Obama-Biden administration that preceded Trump's, to foster a broader Arab-Israeli opening.

Several US lawmakers hailed the agreement, with many Republicans praising Trump and his team for helping bring about a result.

House Democrat Brad Sherman said "Israel's willingness to step away from annexation in favor of expanding ties with its neighbors demonstrates a real commitment to stability, peace & a viable Palestinian state."

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