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In & Around West Asia…

Allegations and counter-allegations have rocked West Asia after the UAE recently signed a pact with Israel…

In the second week of August, the UAE inked a trade deal with Israel. Later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump claimed that the deal was aimed at confronting and further isolating Iran! Even Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President, blasted Abu Dhabi for striking the deal with Israel, insisting that his country could withdraw its ambassador to the UAE! According to President Erdogan, the deal is a huge blow to the rights of the Palestinians.

The comments by the US, Israeli and Turkish leaders have prompted the Foreign Affairs Minister of the UAE, Anwar Gargash, to clarify Abu Dhabi’s stand on the issue. Speaking at a media conference, the minister said: “Under the deal, Israel agreed to put aside for now its pledge to annex West Bank land the Palestinians want for a state. We have been very concerned with the issue of annexation.” Gargash added: “Through this imaginative proclamation, we have at least been able to give negotiations space.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash

Gargash also said that the UAE had no plan to go to a confrontation with neighbouring Iran. “This is not about Iran. This is about the UAE, Israel and the US. This is in no way meant to create some sort of grouping against Iran,” he stressed.

Gargash further launched verbal attacks on the Turkish President, saying that Ankara should not maintain a “double standard”. “They receive over half a million Israeli tourists, have USD 2 billion worth of bilateral trade and an existing embassy there. And I ask myself whether this is a principled position or not,” he commented. The minister made it clear that the UAE would never provoke Iran. “The UAE’s decision to normalise ties with Israel isn’t about countering Iran,” said Gargash.

Meanwhile, the UAE minister has admitted that his country has a very complicated relationship with Iran, stressing: “While we have our concerns, we feel also that resolving these issues should be through diplomacy and de-escalation.

It is to be noted that Israel, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have emerged as power centres in West Asia, as the four nations are eager to influence the regional geopolitics. The diplomatic tug of war between them has also started creating troubles for other countries in the region. Moreover, the US’ cordial ties with Israel and Saudi Arabia have made the situation even more complicated, as Iran feels a serious security threat from the Jewish Nation…

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