Sep 5, 2020 - World

Israel and UAE agreement to be signed in Washington will be designated as "peace treaty"

The agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, expected to be signed within the next two weeks in Washington, D.C., will be a "treaty of peace" with the same legal and diplomatic status as peace agreements Israel has previously signed with Egypt and Jordan, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: Israel wants the agreement to carry the most serious status, demanding the greatest commitment from both parties, Israeli officials explain. Officials also hope the agreement will send a message of long-term stability, rather than a temporary deal.

The state of play: During talks the U.S. and Israel had with Emirati officials in recent weeks, Israel requested that the document be signed in Washington as a "treaty of peace." Israeli and U.S. officials say the Emiratis agreed.

  • The economic protocol, which was signed by Israel and the UAE in Abu Dhabi on Monday and which I obtained a copy of, mentions that it is "in advance of the signing in Washington of a treaty of peace, diplomatic relations and full normalization."
  • Israeli officials say the peace treaty with the UAE must be approved by vote in the Knesset, intended to make the process more consensual. Peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan were also approved by vote in the Knesset and received a significant majority.

What to watch: No date has been set for the signing ceremony in Washington, according to Israeli officials, but the event is expected to take place the week of Sept. 14. The Israeli prime minister's office has already asked El Al to have a plane ready for departure to Washington, D.C., next Saturday or the day after.

  • The U.S. and Israel are continuing talks with other Arab countries — mainly Bahrain and Sudan — in an effort to get them to agree to normalization agreements even before the signing ceremony in Washington, Israeli officials tell me. If they succeed, the ceremony will be even bigger, but Israeli officials say it is unclear whether things will materialize by then.
  • The White House plans to invite ambassadors of Arab countries, including those who do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, officials say. In doing so, the White House hopes to show the U.S.-brokered Israel-UAE agreement has broad support in the Arab world.

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