Major breakthroughs have occurred this year in the journey for Israel and the United Arab Emirates to establish normalised interactions and peace.
In order to help push an agreement between the two countries, US officials have worked hard to broker a deal between the states. As a result of their involvement in the negotiations, an official agreement was announced and eventually ratified this October.
While this has been a long time in the making and is now being finalised, there has been a range of significant events that have symbolised the progress being made and the commitment from both sides to the successful finalisation and practical implementation of the agreement.
On 13 August, in a surprise announcement, the US announced The Israel–United Arab Emirates normalisation agreement.
This agreement marked the UAE becoming the third Arab country in the Middle East to officially normalise its relations with Israel and recognise it as a country since its founding in 1948.
In almost immediate effect after, to show commitment to the agreement, the two countries opened direct telephone communications for the first time on 16 August. Later that month the UAE also repealed a boycotting law it had against Israel. This had been in place since 1972, making a significant shift in the country’s stance on Israel.
Following the announcement, the US played an instrumental role in solidifying the peace deal as they held the signing of the agreement at the White House on September 15th. Acting as a mediator between the two countries, US delegates flew alongside Israeli delegates to the United Arab Emirates on Monday the 31st. The flight, named LY971 after UAE’s international dialling code, carried delegates such as Jared Kushner, the US Senior Advisor, and the Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat.
Making the flight all the more significant for Israeli international relations was it being able to cross over Saudi Arabian airspace which had previously been blocked to Israeli air traffic.
Fast forward to 12 October, and the deal was unanimously agreed to by the Israeli cabinet. Not long after it was ratified by the Knesset, the legislative branch of the Israeli government, on 15 October. A few days later on 19 October, the agreement was ratified by both the UAE Parliament and cabinet, solidifying its status.