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UAE-Israel agreement not directed at Iran, insists FM

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash [WAM]
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, 19 June 2018 [WAM]

Abu Dhabi's agreement to normalise ties with Israel was a "sovereign decision" and was not "directed at Iran", the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, stressed yesterday.

"We say this and repeat it. We do not accept interference in our decisions, just as we reject threats, whether as a way of bullying or concern," Gargash said on Twitter.

The official pointed out that his country's decisions were "transformative and have an impact," adding that Abu Dhabi's "futuristic decision enhances the UAE's position and its competitiveness."

"The UAE-Israeli peace treaty is a sovereign decision not directed at Iran," Gargash added.

READ: Israel president invites UAE crown prince to Tel Aviv

On Sunday, the UAE summoned Iran's charge d'affaires in Abu Dhabi and gave him a "strongly worded memo" in response to a recent speech by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, which the foreign ministry described as "unacceptable".

Slamming the UAE-Israeli normalisation agreement, Rouhani said on Saturday that Abu Dhabi had made a "huge mistake", describing the move as a "betrayal by the Gulf state".

Last week, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.

Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv's planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.

However, Netanyahu repeated yesterday that annexation is not off the table, but has been delayed.

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Asia & AmericasIranIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUAEUS
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