By Nathan Morley
This is a major breakthrough for Israel, but also a foreign policy victory for President Donald Trump who is now focused on the upcoming US elections in November.
“Now that the ice has been broken I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
It is the first Israeli-Arab peace agreement since Israel and Jordan signed a treaty back in 1994.
Under its terms, Israel and the United Arab Emirates will exchange ambassadors and embassies, and set up air, technology, communications, shipping and other links.
An important point came with the revelation that Israel had agreed to suspend plans to annex part of the West Bank, an issue which had fractured hopes of any peace deal with the Palestinians.
New era in relations
Speaking in Jerusalem, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Today, a new era began in the relations of the state of Israel with the Arab world.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, said he was “gratified by today’s announcement”.