Kushner: Israel-UAE treaty marks ‘massive change’

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Kushner: Israel-UAE treaty marks ‘massive change’


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Media captionJared Kushner: “This is a dramatic breakthrough that will make the Middle East safer”

President Trump’s chief adviser, Jared Kushner, has said the US-brokered Israel-UAE peace treaty represents a “massive change” for the Middle East.

Speaking to CBS News, Mr Kushner said the deal, unexpectedly announced on Thursday, would make the region safer.

It marks only the third Israeli-Arab peace treaty in the Middle East, and the first involving a Gulf state.

The international community has welcomed the deal, but Palestinians, Iran and Turkey have denounced it.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are expected the sign the deal in three weeks’ time, normalising relations between the two countries, including opening embassies in each other’s territory.

Israel and Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa have historically been in a state of conflict since Israel’s creation in 1948, but this has receded in recent years after peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, and what is seen by both sides as a growing threat in the region from Iran.

Mr Kushner told CBS he and President Trump had been working on a deal between Israel and the UAE since Mr Trump came to office.

He said the treaty was a “dramatic breakthrough that will make the Middle East safer… [meaning] less American troops will have to be over there”, without spelling it out in detail.

The agreement was, he said, “a very big victory” for President Trump that would make “the whole region more hopeful”.

The announcement came eight months after the US president unveiled a blueprint for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, negotiated by Mr Kushner. However, while Israel welcomed the initiative the Palestinians rejected it as heavily biased towards Israel and froze ties with the Trump administration.

What does the new treaty mean for the Palestinians?

While the agreement between Israel and the UAE establishes full diplomatic relations between the two countries, significantly it also puts the brakes on one of the most divisive issues in years between Israel and the Palestinians – Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank.

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Media captionIsrael annexation: What is the West Bank?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had vowed to “extend Israeli sovereignty” over some 30% of the West Bank – land c

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