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Israeli cabinet ratifies deal on ties with UAE

Israel’s government on Sunday gave final approval to the normalisation of ties with the United Arab Emirates, an official statement said, after lawmakers ratified the pact earlier this month.

The government’s weekly cabinet meeting also endorsed sending an agreement on establishing diplomatic relations with Bahrain to parliament for its go ahead, the statement further said.

The UAE in August became the third Arab state to establish relations with Israel following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. It was quickly followed by Bahrain.

The US-brokered deals were formalised at the White House on September 15.

On Friday the White House announced that Sudan was to be the latest Arab nation to recognise Israel, and both US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have said that more countries will follow.

The three new accords were condemned by the Palestinians and broke with years of Arab League policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The consensus had been that there should be no relations with the Jewish state until it makes peace with the Palestinians.

With their economies hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the UAE and Israel are hoping for rapid dividends from the normalisation deal.

They have already signed treaties on direct flights and visa-free travel, along with accords on investment protection, science and technology.