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UAE, Israel eye trillion-dollar economic development one year into Abraham Accords
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The United Arab Emirates marks one year since normalising ties with Israel on Wednesday, a move which drew Palestinian anger but that leaders hope could reap a trillion dollars in economic exchanges.

Watched by then US president Donald Trump, the UAE and Gulf neighbour Bahrain formally recognised Israel on September 15, 2020 in Washington, prompting Palestinian accusations of a "stab in the back".

The surprise step, under the US-brokered Abraham Accords, broke with decades of Arab consensus that ruled out formal ties while the Palestinian conflict was unresolved.

However, it marked a thaw in the region, with Morocco and Sudan soon following suit and regional power Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil producer, allowing some overflights from the Jewish state.

The economic benefits have come quickly for the UAE and Israel, who signed a series of deals ranging from tourism to aviation and financial services.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid made a landmark visit to the UAE in July, opening an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate in Dubai, while the UAE established an embassy in Tel Aviv.

Quote:"After a year of the Abraham Accords, we have a story to say," UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri told a panel discussion by the Atlantic Council, a US think-tank, on Monday.

"We exchanged ambassadors, we have signed over 60 MOUs (memorandums of understanding). We have 600-700 million of bilateral trade happening, we have funds of billions of dollars that has been announced.

"We're looking to create over a trillion dollars of economic activity over the next decade."

Further benefits will come if a major deal to ship Emirati oil to Europe via an Israeli pipeline clears objections from environmentalists, who fear damage to unique coral reefs in the Red Sea.

Beyond economics, the rapprochement was also pushed by mutual concern over Iran, with the regional rivalry even pushing Riyadh into quietly building relations with the Jewish state over the past several years.

Online criticism of Israel is frequent in both the UAE and Bahrain but open dissent over the normalisation is rare, likely to avoid angering authorities.

Even when Israeli air strikes levelled buildings during an 11-day conflict with Hamas in May, triggering an upswell of outrage, the relationship continued unhindered.



https://www.ibtimes.com/bts-issued-diplo...on-3295775
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