Following the historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, Turkey accuses the UAE on Friday of “betraying the Palestinian cause” by agreeing to sign an agreement to normalize relations with Israel.
The agreement, to be signed in three weeks in Washington, would make Abu Dhabi only the third Arab capital to make peace with Israel since 1948.
“The Emirates are going to invest significant sums in Israel..this is an opening for peace in the region,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised speech, welcoming a third peace agreement with an Arabic country after Egypt and Jordan.
According to the Emirates, Israel has agreed to put an end to annexation in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not confirm this was the case, citing a simple “postponement”.
“The United Arab Emirates are trying to present this as a kind of sacrifice for Palestine, while they betray the Palestinian cause to serve their small interests,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“History and the people living in the region will not forget this hypocrisy and will never forgive it,” the Ministry added.
An ardent defender of the Palestinian cause, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regularly criticizes Arab countries, whom he accuses of not adopting a sufficiently firm attitude towards Israel.
Ankara’s strong reaction also comes at a time when relations between Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, two regional rivals, are strained. The two countries are opposed in particular to the conflict in Libya, where they support opposing camps.
At today’s press conference in Brussels, a European Commission spokesperson welcomed the normalisation of relations between Israel and the UAE and added that the EU supports the resumption of negotiations on a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.