Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he is considering breaking off all diplomatic ties with the UAE after the Gulf nation announced a landmark deal establishing formal relations with Israel.
Erdogan harshly criticized the UAE for its deal with Israel, as most Arab nations have historically refrained from maintaining formal diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv in protest against its occupation of the West Bank.
We have given instructions to the foreign minister. Suspending diplomatic relations with Abu Dhabi may be one of the steps, as well as recalling our ambassador, because we stand with the Palestinian people.
On Thursday, the UAE announced that it had agreed to set up diplomatic ties with Israel in exchange for a suspension of Tel Aviv’s plan to annex the West Bank. Previously, only Egypt and Jordan among the Arab nations have had diplomatic relations with Israel.
The deal was hailed by the US and Israel, but vehemently rejected by the Palestinian Authority.
Erdogan and his government have been vocal critics of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians over the years. Shortly after the UAE-Israel accord was announced, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said that “history and the conscience of the region’s peoples will not forget and never forgive this hypocritical behavior of the UAE, betraying the Palestinian cause for the sake of its narrow interests.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, praised the accord with Abu Dhabi as “the greatest advancement toward peace between Israel and the Arab world in the last 26 years.” He confirmed that Israel would delay the planned annexation of the West Bank, but said that this option will remain on the table.
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