UAE-Israel deal-signing ceremony to be held Sept. 15 in Washington

Last week, Israel and the United Arab Emirates started discussions to open embassies in each other’s countries during a high-level government meeting in Abu Dhabi.

L-R: Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo credit: REUTERS)
L-R: Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The signing ceremony of the Abraham Accord between Israel and the UAE will take place on September 15 in Washington, the White House confirmed on Tuesday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will represent Israel, the Foreign Affairs Minister and the crown prince’s brother, Abdullah bin Zayed will represent the UAE.
Netanyahu said he is “proud to be going to Washington next week at US President Donald Trump’s invitation, to participate in the historic ceremony in the White House, celebrating establishing a peace treaty between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”
Last week, Israel and the United Arab Emirates started discussions to open embassies in each other’s countries, during a high-level government meeting in Abu Dhabi.
The Israeli delegation headed by National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, together with his American counterpart Robert O’Brien, White House special advisers Jared Kushner and Avi Berkowitz, and others arrived on the first-ever direct flight by an Israeli airline from Israel to the UAE. The El Al plane, bearing an Israeli flag, was also the first-ever Israeli flight over Saudi Arabia.
Kushner said the Saudis are “very gracious” for allowing the first Israeli flight in their airspace, and that the flight is “a manifestation of what is possible in the Middle East.”
“We can take it as a sign,” Kushner said. “It’s an encouragement for this progress.”
The special adviser commended Netanyahu and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed for their “great leadership.”
Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership has watered down its criticism of the normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates before an Arab League meeting in Cairo on Wednesday at which the accord will be debated.
A draft resolution presented by the Palestinian envoy, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, does not include a call to condemn, or act against, the Emirates over the US-brokered deal.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also issued instructions on Tuesday banning any offensive statements or actions towards Arab leaders, including UAE rulers.
Announced on August 13, the accord was the first such accommodation between an Arab country and Israel since the 1994 peace agreement with Jordan.

Reuters contributed to this report.