Aug 13, 2020 - World

Joe Biden welcomes UAE-Israel deal as "historic step"

Biden and Netanyahu

Biden and Netanyahu. Photo: Debbi Hill - Pool/ Getty Images

Joe Biden released a statement Thursday applauding the normalization of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates as a "welcome, brave, and badly-needed act of statesmanship."

Why it matters: It's a rare moment of public praise for a deal brokered by President Trump, underscoring Biden's support for Israel at a time when some progressives have pushed — without success — for the Democratic platform to recognize the Israeli "occupation" of Palestinian territory.

The big picture: Biden said in the statement that he continues to oppose Israeli plans for annexation of the West Bank, which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he would temporarily suspend — but not cancel — to secure the normalization deal.

  • "It would virtually end any chance of a two-state solution that would secure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state and uphold the right of Palestinians to a state of their own," Biden said.

Go deeper: Netanyahu says he's "still committed" to annexations despite UAE deal

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