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UAE to promote Dubai as 'essential hub for Israeli businesses' in new agreement

The normalisation of ties has been slammed by Palestinian factions [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 September, 2020

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A Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] was signed between the state-owned Dubai Free Zone Authority [DAFZA] and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce.
The United Arab Emirates has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tel Aviv to promote Dubai as an essential hub for Israeli businesses, weeks after the controversial normalisation of ties between the two states.

The MoU was signed between the state-owned Dubai Free Zone Authority [DAFZA] and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, the Emirati authority announced in a statement on Thursday.

The agreement "defines the frameworks for cooperation between the two sides in the field of encouraging and supporting companies in establishing their businesses", DAFZA's statement said.

It aims to benefit Israeli companies by providing commercial and investment opportunities in the UAE, the statement added, noting DAFZA would promote Dubai as a global trade centre and vital business hub for Israeli businesses.

The agreement is also thought to provide incentives for Israeli companies to launch business in Dubai.

The MoU was signed in a virtual ceremony in the presence of Director General of DAFZA, Mohammed Al-Zarouni, as well as the head of the Israeli Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Uriel Lane.

The UAE and Bahrain signed an agreement to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel earlier this month at the White House.

 
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The Trump administration has made Israel-Arab normalisation a key focus of its Middle East foreign policy, claiming them to be "peace deals".

The two Gulf countries broke decades of consensus among Arab states that there would be no relations with Israel until Palestinian statehood had been assured. 

The so-called "peace deals" have angered Palestinians, who consider the move a betrayal from the Arab nations. Before Bahrain and the UAE, only Egypt and Jordan had diplomatic relations with Israel.

Since the agreements earlier this month, speculation has pointed to a handful of other Arab countries on the brink of reaching similar deals, with Oman and Sudan as the most likely candidates.

Friday reports suggested both Oman and Sudan could announce normalisation deals with Israel as soon as next week.

Citing Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv, Israeli broadcaster i24 News stated Sudan and Oman are holding US-brokered talks with Israel so as to announce peace deals next week.

Read also: 'Disgust' as UAE cleric Waseem Yousef says Arabs their own enemy, not Israel

US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft on Wednesday revealed a third normalisation agreement between Israel and an unnamed Arab country may happen in the next day or two.

i24 News previously reported Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will likely meet with Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the leader of Sudan's transitional sovereign council, in the coming days in Uganda, the second meeting between both officials.

In return for the normalisation deal, Sudanese officials hope Khartoum will be removed from the United States' State Sponsors of Terrorism list.

The designation, in place since the 1990s, exposes Sudan to harmful sanctions and limits the amount of international aid available to the country amid a spiralling economic crisis.

On its end, Oman expressed support for last month's normalisation of ties between the neighbouring UAE and Israel.

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