UAE Presses Allies to Normalize with Israel

UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash. (Photo: Video Grab)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is gradually obtaining support in its endeavors to normalize relations with Israel, with economic and security interests alleged to be behind the rapprochement.

The UAE has been in the process of normalizing its relations with Israel for several years, and Abu Dhabi’s allies are now following their sponsor.

The Southern Transitional Council (STC), the Yemeni secessionist movement sponsored by the UAE, has recently shown a willingness to establish relations with Israel, with which it is currently in secret talks. The same has been said for Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, who is seeking new support after successive setbacks against Fayez Al-Sarraj’s Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

These understandings come as Abu Dhabi has been publicizing its ties with Israel in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. In a highly unusual move, planes from the Emirati airline Etihad’s fleet landed on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport on May 20 and June  9, loaded with humanitarian aid for the West Bank.

However, the Palestinian Authority (PA) refused the medical aid, claiming it had not been party to coordination on the delivery, which was conducted exclusively with Israel.

Behind this display, Abu Dhabi is looking to take advantage of the tacit recognition of Israel to secure new cybersecurity contracts, just as the agreement on June 20 was aimed at facilitating joint research in the context of the current epidemic.

Previous contracts concluded in 2019 are understood to have totaled more than $4 billion.

Gulf Arab states do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. However, due to shared concerns over Iran’s influence in the region, they are are increasingly normalizing relations cooperating against a perceived threat from Teheran.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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