In a historic announcement on August 13, 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel declared that they would normalize relations thanks to talks spearheaded by the United States of America. Although significant economic and ideological differences remain between both parties, this is a major step towards the adoption of bilateral agreements.
Agreed Upon Action
Although the agreement was purely verbal, both side will eventually sign what the US Department of State has called the Abrahamic Accords. From publicly available information, The Intelligence Ledger has successfully ascertained the main points Israel and the UAE agreed upon:
Israel will suspend all efforts to annex land in the West Bank.
UAE and Israel will normalize diplomatic relations.
Israel will agree to pursue relations with other Middle East North African (MENA) states.
Bilateral agreements will be formed addressing trade, security, investment, and air transport fields.
The White House believes that a signing ceremony will be held in Washington DC, although that still remains to be determined. According to Jared Kushner, the UAE is but the first of several Arab countries that are currently in the process of normalizing relations. Negotiations are currently occurring behind closed doors.
The Secret Relationship
Although Israel and the UAE have publicly remained adversarial, the two states have formed close ties in the business, security, and diplomatic fields. A sign of this covert relationship emerged in 2018, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba greeted each other warmly after stumbling across one another in a high-end Washington DC cafe. This was further reinforced 2019, when an American rabbi was included in the UAE Embassy's interfaith Iftar dinner.
The decision to normalize relations will be greeted with discontent amongst both Israeli and Emirati hardliners. Although there may be some civil unrest, The Intelligence Ledger has concluded that both states will be able to maintain control and eventually convince their respective populations of the benefits of such an agreement.