UAE minister says UAE-Israel agreement not directed at Iran

Published August 17, 2020
“The UAE-Israeli peace treaty is a sovereign decision not directed at Iran. We say this and repeat it. We do not accept interference in our decisions,” Gargash said. — Reuters/File
“The UAE-Israeli peace treaty is a sovereign decision not directed at Iran. We say this and repeat it. We do not accept interference in our decisions,” Gargash said. — Reuters/File

The United Arab Emirates’ agreement to normalise ties with Israel was a “sovereign decision” that was not directed at Iran, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said on Monday.

The UAE on Sunday said it had summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires in Abu Dhabi and given him a “strongly worded memo” in response to a speech by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that the foreign ministry described as “unacceptable”.

Speaking on Saturday, Rouhani said the UAE had made a “huge mistake” in reaching a agreement to normalise ties with Israel and called it a betrayal by the Gulf state.

The US-sponsored deal has been seen as firming up opposition to regional power Iran, which Gulf states, Israel and the United States view as the main threat in the conflict-riven Middle East.

“The UAE-Israeli peace treaty is a sovereign decision not directed at Iran. We say this and repeat it. We do not accept interference in our decisions,” Gargash said on Twitter.

The secretary general of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday condemned “threats” by Rouhani and other Iranian officials towards the UAE over the accord.

Iran, Turkey lash out at UAE over agreement with Israel

Iran and Turkey lashed out at the UAE on Friday over its decision to normalise diplomatic relations with Israel in a US-brokered deal, accusing it of betraying the Palestinian cause.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry called the deal a “dagger that was unjustly struck by the UAE in the backs of the Palestinian people and all Muslims”. Turkey said the peoples of the region “will never forget and will never forgive this hypocritical behaviour” by the UAE.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the UAE had no authority to negotiate with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians or “to make concessions on matters vital to Palestine”.

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