USA Press

USA Press:

 

Senators Menendez and Van Hollen Call for Sanctions in Response to Turkish Aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean

 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

 

 

WASHINGTON – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, today sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in advance of his meeting with the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias scheduled for Friday.  Citing Turkey’s recent deployment of naval vessels to shadow a drilling ship into Greece’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the Senators called on the Trump Administration to urge Turkey to remove its ships from international waters. The Senators also urged Secretary Pompeo to work with the European Union to impose new sanctions on Turkey, if Turkey continues its increasing aggressions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

 

The Senators wrote, “The failure of the United States to act decisively at this critical time will only invite further Turkish escalation. Therefore, we urge you take all appropriate measures to ensure Turkey removes its naval vessels from Greece’s EEZ and adheres to its international obligations.

 

A copy of the letter can be found below.

 

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

 

In advance of your meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias tomorrow in Vienna, we are writing with grave concern regarding Turkey’s provocative actions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Earlier this week, Turkey sent naval vessels to accompany a drilling ship into Greece’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to survey waters for oil and gas exploration. Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu has said that Ankara would issue new seismic exploration and drilling licenses by the end of August.

 

As you have previously stated, the United States “will not allow anyone, Turkey, to make unlawful drilling” and “we have told Turkey that actions in international waters are unacceptable and we will take diplomatic initiatives so that all actions that are to being taken are lawful.”

 

In accordance with your prior statements, we ask you to call on Turkey to remove its ships from Greece’s EEZ and to resolve this matter in accordance with international law.

 

Second, we ask that you immediately begin to work with the European Union on a coordinated response to Turkey’s increasing provocations and illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean. The European Union has already imposed an entry ban and asset freeze on two Turkish energy executives and France recently deployed ships to the Eastern Mediterranean. The United States and the European Union should immediately develop a plan of comprehensive joint sanctions that would be imposed on key sectors of the Turkish economy if Turkey continues to pursue illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and refuses to resolve these matters through an impartial international tribunal.

 

Third, we reiterate our insistence that the administration follow the law and impose sanctions on Turkey under Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (P.L. 115-44).  Under President Erdogan, Turkey has shirked its international obligations and moved away from the NATO Alliance. The administration’s failure to impose sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of the S-400, in accordance with the law, has emboldened President Erdogan’s aggression across the Eastern Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East.

 

The failure of the United States to act decisively at this critical time will only invite further Turkish escalation. Therefore, we urge you take all appropriate measures to ensure Turkey removes its naval vessels from Greece’s EEZ and adheres to its international obligations.

Source: https://www.menendez.senate.gov/news-and-events/press/senators-menendez-and-van-hollen-call-for-sanctions-in-response-to-turkish-aggression-in-the-eastern-mediterranean

 

 

Macron’s Muscle-Flexing Will Make Mediterranean Tensions Worse

France is trying to intervene in the conflict between Turkey and Greece. It’s unlikely to go well.

By Bobby Ghosh

August 14, 2020, 7:00 AM GMT+3

As if the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean weren’t turbulent enough, Emmanuel Macron has decided to give them another vigorous stir. France, he says, will increase its military presence there to “monitor the situation in the region and mark its determination to uphold international law.”

 

The “situation” is the face-off between Turkey and Greece over territorial and hydrocarbon-exploration rights. Things turned tense this week when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended a brief pause in Turkish exploration efforts in waters contested by the Greeks. For good measure, Ankara launched naval exercises off the Greek islands of Rhodes and Kastellorizo.

 

Erdogan was apparently responding to the announcement of a new maritime border agreement between Greece and Egypt, which was plainly designed to counter growing Turkish ambitions.

 

Matters are coming to a head, and one major power has already intervened: The brief Turkish pause on exploration was engineered by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who made a personal appeal to both Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

 

If Merkel is, as I have argued, the best candidate to mediate the conflict, then Macron is quite possibly the worst. The French leader and Erdogan share a mutual animosity, deepened by Turkey’s thwarting of Macron’s ambitions in Libya.

Macron has called for European Union sanctions against Turkey for what he described as violations of Greek and Cypriot waters and threats against the two EU members. He has previously accused Turkey, a fellow NATO member, of “a historic and criminal responsibility” in Libya. The Turks, no slouches at bellicose rhetoric, have denounced France as “the main [actor] responsible for the problems in Libya,” and described Macron as having suffered “an eclipse of the mind.”

 

Greece has welcomed Macron’s announcement: Mitsotakis tweeted that Macron was “a true friend … and also a fervent protector of European values.” Erdogan, predictably, is having none of it. “No one should see themselves as a giant in the mirror,” he said on Thursday, clearly referring to Macron. “They should not go after making a show.”

 

Ankara will have no difficulty dismissing the French leader’s claim to “uphold international law.” The Turks need only point to Libya, where Paris has sided with a rebel commander — who is, to boot, accused of horrific war crimes — against a government recognized by the United Nations. So much for European values.

 

There was never any likelihood of Macron repeating his last successful intervention in a Middle Eastern crisis. In the fall of 2017, he persuaded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to release Lebanon’s then Prime Minister Saad Hariri from a bizarre detention in Riyadh. The French president won deserved praise for facing down MBS, as he’s called, when other world leaders were reluctant to act. But that gambit worked because the Saudi prince craved Western approbation, and Macron’s in particular.

 

Erdogan, on the other hand, has long since turned away from the West, and is especially contemptuous of the man who presumes to speak for it. Earlier this year, responding to Macron’s musing that NATO was becoming brain dead, the Turkish president said his French counterpart should “first check his own brain death.” He has dismissed other French offers of mediation — between Turkey and Syrian Kurds, for instance.

 

Macron is now sending two Rafale fighter jets and the naval frigate “Lafayette” to the Eastern Mediterranean. But these military maneuvers are unlikely to give Erdogan further pause. He has called Macron’s bluff before: A recent effort by a French warship to halt a Turkish vessel off Libya was easily repulsed, forcing Paris to lodge a complaint with NATO.

 

On the contrary, Macron’s move will serve Erdogan’s argument that the Europeans are ganging up against Turkey. It is also, incidentally, a useful political distraction from Turkey’s perilous economic condition. We should expect more jingoistic rhetoric from Ankara in the coming days.

 

The only other leader likely to be discomfited by Macron’s muscle-flexing is Merkel, whose already difficult task of calming the troubled waters will be made harder still by the French intervention.

 

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

 

To contact the author of this story:

Bobby Ghosh at aghosh73@bloomberg.net

 

To contact the editor responsible for this story:

Nicole Torres at ntorres51@bloomberg.net

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-08-14/macron-s-muscle-flexing-will-make-turkey-greece-conflict-worse

 

 

France sends forces into eastern Mediterranean to quell tensions between Greece, Turkey

Greece has demanded Turkey withdraw its ships from an area it claims as its own

By Bradford Betz | Fox News

Emmanuel Macron ordered French forces on Thursday into the eastern Mediterranean where tensions have been rising between Greece and Turkey over disputed waters.

 

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warmly welcomed the move, tweeting Thursday that Macron was “a true friend of Greece and also a fervent protector of European values and international law.”

 

 

In this photo provided by the Greek National Defence, a French Tonnerre helicopter carrier, rear left is escorted by Greek and French military vessels during a maritime exercise in the Eastern Mediterranean, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.  (Greek National Defence via AP)

 

Meanwhile, Turkey accused Greece and the island nation of Cyprus of encroaching on its rights in the Mediterranean and vowed to defend its interests in the region — but also called for dialogue to resolve the dispute.

 

Turkey recently deployed a seismic research vessel, escorted by warships, into waters between Crete and Cyprus to prospect for offshore gas and oil.

 

Greece claims part of the area covers its continental shelf and has demanded that the Turkish ships withdraw. Turkey took the position that it’s entitled to conduct research there. Greece placed its military on alert and sent warships to the area off Turkey’s southern coast.

 

MACRON WARNS IRAN NOT TO ‘INTERFERE’ IN LEBANESE GOVERNMENT SHAKEUP

 

In Ankara, and later in talks with European officials, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated a call for dialogue and negotiation to arrive at a win-win situation for all three countries that preserves each state’s rights in the sea.

 

 

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his party members, in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (Turkish Presidency via AP)

 

“We don’t have designs on anyone’s rights, but we won’t let any country take away our rights,” Erdrogan said.

 

He also accused France of provoking Greece and Cyprus into taking wrongful steps.

 

Macron announced late Wednesday that he decided to “temporarily reinforce the French military presence in the eastern Mediterranean in the coming days, in cooperation with European partners including Greece.”

 

 

France, a NATO and European Union ally with Greece, is the E.U.’s biggest military power. Complicating matters, Turkey — Greece’s historic regional rival — is also a NATO member it but has poor relations with France.

In a televised statement Wednesday, Mitsotakis warned of the “risk of an accident” in the patch of sea where the Greek and Turkish warships are gathered.

MACRON WARNS IRAN NOT TO ‘INTERFERE’ IN LEBANESE GOVERNMENT SHAKEUP

“In such a case, responsibility lies upon the one who gives rise to these circumstances,” he said. He added that Greece was not averse to “even the toughest dialogue,” but that “dialogue becomes irrelevant in a climate of tension and provocation.”

The Greek prime minister vowed not to escalate the standoff at sea, but remained unwavering.

“Yet, self-restraint is only one aspect of our power,” Mitsotakis said. “No provocation will … go unanswered.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/world/france-sends-troops-eastern-mediterranean-tensions-greece-turkey

 

Egyptian News:

Iran, Turkey lash out at UAE over agreement with Israel

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran and Turkey lashed out at their regional rival the United Arab Emirates on Friday over its decision to normalize 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 behavior” by the UAE.

The UAE, which has never fought Israel and has quietly been improving ties for years, said the agreement put a hold on Israel’s plans to unilaterally annex parts of the occupied West Bank, which the Palestinians view as the heartland of their future state.

But 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.”

The agreement would make the UAE the first Gulf Arab state — and the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan — to have full diplomatic ties with Israel. The Palestinians say the deal amounts to “treason” and have called on Arab and Muslim countries to oppose it.

The historic deal delivered a key foreign policy victory for US President Donald Trump as he seeks re-election and reflected a changing Middle East in which shared concerns about archenemy Iran have largely overtaken traditional Arab support for the Palestinians. Trump has predicted that other countries in the region will follow the UAE’s lead.

Israel, the UAE and other Gulf countries that view Iran as a regional menace have been cultivating closer ties in recent years. Turkey has had diplomatic relations with Israel for decades, but under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has positioned itself as a champion of the Palestinians. Turkey and the UAE support rival camps in the conflict in Libya.

____

 

By AMIR VAHDAT

Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, contributed.

Image: President Donald Trump, accompanied by From left, US special envoy for Iran Brian Hook, Avraham Berkowitz, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, President Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, smiles in the Oval Office at the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Washington. Trump said on Thursday that the United Arab Emirates and Israel have agreed to establish full diplomatic ties as part of a deal to halt the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Source: https://www.egyptindependent.com/iran-turkey-lash-out-at-uae-over-agreement-with-israel/

Other News:

 

UAE, Israel normalise ties: All the latest updates

Israel and the United Arab Emirates agree to normalise relations in a deal brokered by US President Donald Trump.

by Ramy Allahoum    & Zaheena Rasheed

29 minutes ago

MORE ON ISRAEL

Iran: UAE-Israel deal a ‘stab in the back’ to Muslims

today

How the world reacted to UAE, Israel normalising diplomatic ties

today

Turkey slams UAE for ‘hypocritical behaviour’ over Israel deal

today

Netanyahu says West Bank annexation plans still ‘on the table’

today

Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have reached a historic deal that will lead to a full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations.

The deal came after a phone call between United States President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

The White House says the agreement will see Israel suspend its plans to annex Palestinian areas of the occupied West Bank.

Here are the latest updates:

 

Friday, August 14

12:45 GMT – China ‘welcomes’ Israel, UAE deal

China on Friday welcomed the normalisation of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

“China welcomes any measures that help to ease tensions between Middle Eastern countries, promoting regional peace and stability,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

He added that China hoped concrete steps would soon be taken to bring the Palestine issue back “on the track of equal dialogue.”

10: 20 GMT – Israelis and Palestinians react to UAE deal

“We reject this conspiracy completely.” Palestinians criticise, while Israelis offer mixed reactions to the deal that will lead to a full normalisation of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE.

07:30 GMT – UAE’s Gargash says positive reactions to Israel agreement are encouraging

United Arab Emirate’s minister of state for foreign affairs on Friday described as “encouraging” the reactions from main global capitals to its agreement with Israel.

The agreement dealt with the threat of further annexation of Palestinian territories, which had undermined chances of a two-state solution, Anwar Gargash said in a tweet.

06:54 GMT – Turkey slams UAE’s ‘hypocritical behaviour’

Turkey condemned the UAE for normalising ties with Israel as a “hypocritical” betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

“While betraying the Palestinian cause to serve its narrow interests, the UAE is trying to present this as a kind of act of self-sacrifice for Palestine. History and the conscience of the people living in the region will not forget and never forgive this hypocritical behaviour,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

06:22 GMT – UAE, Israel normalised ties to ‘keep US militarily engaged’ in Middle East

Tirta Parsi, executive vice-president of the Quincy Institute, said the main aim of the UAE-Israel decision to normalise ties was to keep Washington “militarily engaged in the region”.

The Iran expert made the comment when asked about what the deal might mean for Tehran and what role the alleged threat from Israel and US’s arch-foe played in the historic agreement.

Parsi, noting the close business ties between Abu Dhabi and Tehran, said the alliance between Israel, UAE and Saudi Arabia is “more about the fact they are terrified of the idea of the United States leaving the Middle East”.

“Amplifying, exaggerating a threat from Iran is one very potent instrument to keep the United States committed to the Middle East, keeping its troops in the Middle East and providing them with the diplomatic maneuverability that they otherwise would not be able to get if it was solely based on their own power,” he told Al Jazeera from Reston in the US state of Virginia.

“So, in that sense, the threat from Iran fulfills that function, but it’s not the threat from Iran that is bringing those states closer together. What is bringing them closer together is the desire of keeping the United States militarily engaged in the region.”

05:21 GMT – Iran says UAE-Israel deal is ‘dangerous’

Iran’s foreign ministry condemned the deal normalising ties between Israel and the UAE, calling it a dangerous and “strategic act of idiocy” that will further “invigorate the axis of resistance in the region”, according to the official IRNA news agency.

“The shameful measure of Abu Dhabi to reach an agreement with the fake Zionist regime (Israel) is a dangerous move and the UAE and other states that backed it will be responsible for its consequences,” the statement said, according to IRNA

“This is stabbing the Palestinians in the back and will strengthen the regional unity against the Zionist regime,” the foreign ministry said.

04:18 GMT – US envoy calls UAE-Israel deal ‘Iran’s worst nightmare’

Brian Hook, the US State Department’s lead official on Iran who will be leaving his post soon, said the new agreement amounted to a “nightmare” for Iran in its efforts against Israel in the region.

“What we see today is a new Middle East,” Hook said at the White House.

“The trend lines are very different today. And we see the future is very much in the Gulf and with Israel, and the past is with the Iranian regime.”

03:40 GMT – ‘He deceived us’: Israeli settler leaders slam Netanyahu

David Elhayani, head of Israel’s Yesha Council of settlers, lambasted Netanyahu for suspending plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank as part of the agreement normalising ties with the UAE.

“Netanyahu has repeatedly promised the application of Israeli sovereignty in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley. We had face-to-face meetings. He assured us that he was working on it, that this is the main political issue on which he was running in the election,” Elhayani said in a statement.

“He deceived us. He has deceived half a million residents of the area and hundreds of thousands of voters,” he added.

Shai Alon, mayor of the Beit El, an illegal settlement near the Palestinian city of Ramallah, accused Netanyahu of selling out his supporters.

“They pulled a fast one on the settlers,” Alon was quoted as saying by the Times of Israel newspaper.

03:01 GMT – Palestine recalls its ambassador to UAE

The Palestinian foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to UAE on the orders of President Mahmoud Abbas.

In a statement, the official Wafa news agency said the move came “in the aftermath of the tripartite US-brokered Israel-UAE deal on full normalisation of the relations between the two countries”.

01:23 GMT – Trump to host Israel, UAE leaders at White House

Donald Trump said he plans to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the White House in the next three weeks.

“I look forward to hosting them at the White House very soon to formally sign the agreement,” he said.

“We’ll probably be doing it over the next, I would say, three weeks.”

Trump hinted that the UAE may not be the last country to strike a deal with Israel which so far has only had formal diplomatic relations with two other Arab nations, Egypt and Jordan.

“That was a tremendous thing that happened. We have a lot of other interesting things going on with other nations also having to do with peace agreements and a lot of big news is coming over the next few weeks,” he said.

“I am sure you will be very impressed and more importantly it’s great for our country, a great thing for the world.”

01:06 GMT – UN chief hopes Israel-UAE deal can help two-state solution

Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, said he hoped the normalisation of ties between Israel and the UAE can help realise a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

“The secretary-general welcomes this agreement, hoping it will create an opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to re-engage in meaningful negotiations that will realise a two state-solution in line with relevant UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements,” a spokesman for Guterres said in a statement.

“The secretary-general will continue to work with all sides to open further possibilities for dialogue, peace and stability,” the spokesman said.

Hello, this is Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives, taking over from my colleague Ramy Allahoum.

Thursday, August 13

20:20 GMT – Jordan says Israel-UAE deal should prod Israel to accept Palestinian state

Jordan has said that the Israel-UAE deal could push forward stalled peace negotiations if it succeeds in prodding Israel to accept a Palestinian state on land that Israel had occupied in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

“If Israel dealt with it as an incentive to end occupation … it will move the region towards a just peace,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a statement on state media.

20:02 GMT – Mahmoud Abbas ‘rejects and denounces’ UAE-Israel deal

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced Israel’s accord with the United Arab Emirates in a statement issued by his spokesman.

“The Palestinian leadership rejects and denounces the UAE, Israeli and US trilateral, surprising announcement,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a senior adviser to Abbas.

Abu Rudeineh, reading from a statement outside Abbas’s headquarters in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said the deal was a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause.”

The statement urged the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to assemble to “reject” the deal, adding “neither the UAE nor any other party has the right to speak in the name of the Palestinian people.”

19:30 GMT – Israel-UAE deal ‘will not stop Netanyahu’s annexation plans’

Mustafa Barghouti, secretary general and co-founder of the Ramallah-based Palestinian National Initiative, said the deal between Israel and the UAE will not stop Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s annexation plans.

“The Israelis and Emirates had relations already, there was never a struggle between them so I don’t know why they need to call it a peace agreement,” Barghouti told Al Jazeera.

“The reality is that the problem is with the Palestinian people, with the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land; the problem is with the Israeli plan of annexation of Palestinian land which Netanyahu has confirmed one more time today that he is proceeding with.”

“The problem is with the system of racism and apartheid that Israel excises against the Palestinian people.”

19:25 GMT – Iran official says UAE-Israel deal will not secure regional peace

The agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will not secure peace in the region, tweeted a special adviser on international affairs to the speaker of Iran’s parliament.

 

“UAE’s new approach for normalizing ties w/fake, criminal #Israel doesn’t maintain peace & security, but serves ongoing Zionists’ crimes,” tweeted Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, also a former deputy foreign minister.

“Abu Dhabi’s behavior has no justification, turning back on the Palestine cause. W/ that strategic mistake, #UAE will be engulfed in Zionism fire.”

19:15 GMT – ‘Nothing historic’ about Israel-UAE normalising ties

Omar Baddar, a US-based analyst, said there was “nothing historic” or “groundbreaking” about Thursday’s deal between the UAE and Israel.

“Israel didn’t ‘halt’ the annexation for the West Bank (annexation is ALREADY a de facto reality on the ground). Israel merely ‘suspended’ its announcement of a reality it has already illegally imposed on Palestinians. It is FALSE to say Israel suspended it at the UAE’s request,” Baddar wrote on Twitter.

 

 

19:05 GMT – How the world reacted to UAE and Israel normalising diplomatic ties

The United Arab Emirates has become the first Gulf Arab country to reach a deal on normalising relations with Israel, capping years of discreet contacts between the two countries in commerce and technology.

The so-called “Abraham Agreement”, announced by United States President Donald Trump on Thursday, secures an Israeli commitment to halt further annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank.

However, addressing reporters later in Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he agreed to “delay” the annexation as part of the deal with the UAE, but the plans remain “on the table”.

 

18:55 GMT – Bahrain says UAE-Israel deal strengthens chances of peace

Bahrain has welcomed the accord between the UAE and Israel, saying the “historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region”.

The small island state also praised the US for its efforts towards securing the deal.

Hamas: Israel-UAE deal a ‘stab in back of Palestinians’ (13:21)

18:05 GMT – Joe Biden says Israel-UAE deal ‘brave and badly needed’

United States Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden hailed the Israel-UAE deal as an historic step toward a more stable Middle East, warning he would not support Israel’s annexation of Jewish settlements if he wins the White House in November.

“The UAE’s offer to publicly recognize the State of Israel is a welcome, brave, and badly-needed act of statesmanship,” the former Vice President said in a statement. “Annexation would be a body blow to the cause of peace, which is why I oppose it now and would oppose it as president.”

17:50 GMT – Netanyahu calls UAE deal start of a ‘new era’ for Israel and Arab world

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hailed the United States-brokered deal to normalise ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, saying the agreement signalled the beginning of a new era with the Arab world.

“Today a new era began in the relations between Israel and the Arab world,” he said at a televised press conference.

Netanyahu said the “full and official peace” with the UAE would lead to cooperation in many spheres between the countries and a “wonderful future” for citizens of both countries.

17:45 GMT – UK’s Johnson welcomes Israel-UAE move to normalise ties

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has welcomed the agreement between Israel and the UAE that will lead to a full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two states.

“The UAE and Israel’s decision to normalise relations is hugely good news,” Johnson said on Twitter.

“It was my profound hope that annexation did not go ahead in the West Bank and today’s agreement to suspend those plans is a welcome step on the road to a more peaceful Middle East.”

17:10 GMT – Israel’s president invites UAE Crown Prince to visit Jerusalem

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has extended an invitation to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to visit Jerusalem, hours after the announcement that the two countries were establishing full diplomatic ties.

“I invite the crown prince to visit Jerusalem,” he wrote on Twitter, adding a greeting in Arabic.

 

 

Rivlin, whose post is ceremonial, said the agreement was “an important and strategic milestone” that could jump-start agreements with other countries in the region.

 

16:55 GMT – UN chief welcomes ‘any initiative’ on Middle East peace, security

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomes “any initiative that can promote peace and security in the Middle East region,” a UN spokesman said after Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced a deal on bilateral ties.

 

16:30 GMT – Hamas calls deal ‘a reward for the Israeli occupation’s crimes’

Hamas has accused the UAE of stabbing Palestinians in the back by agreeing to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.

 

“This announcement is a reward for the Israeli occupation’s crimes,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. “The normalisation is a stabbing in the back of our people.”

 

Israel and UAE agree to normalise diplomatic relations (7:17)

 

16:15 GMT – Israeli legislators welcome UAE deal

Israeli lawmakers have welcomed the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the UAE, with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz – who is also Israel’s “alternate” prime minister under a power-sharing deal – saying the agreement expressed an “alliance” between countries in the region that aim for stability and prosperity.

He said the deal will have “many positive implications” on the region and called on other Arab states to pursue peace deals with Israel. He also thanked United States President Donald Trump, calling him a “true friend of Israel”.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, part of Gantz’s Blue and White party, said he welcomed Israel’s backing down from “unilateral annexation” of the West Bank, saying Trump’s Middle East plan would be discussed in consultation with countries in the region.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid said “negotiations and agreements, not unilateral steps like annexation” were key to Israel’s diplomatic relations.

 

16:12 GMT – UAE normalised ties with Israel ‘to manage annexation threat’

The UAE said its agreement with Israel was made to deal with the threat that further annexation of Palestinian territories posed to the two-state solution.

The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, urged the Palestinians and Israelis to return to the negotiating table.

 

16:10 GMT – Egypt’s Sisi welcomes UAE-Israel deal, halt to annexation

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has welcomed the normalisation of ties between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, saying he valued efforts that will “achieve prosperity and stability for the region”.

“I followed with interest and appreciation the joint statement between the United States, United Arab Emirates and Israel to halt the Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands and taking steps to bring peace in the Middle East,” Sisi said on Twitter.

 

“I value the efforts of those in charge of the deal to achieve prosperity and stability for our region.”

 

16:05 GMT – UAE, Israel to sign bilateral deals on areas including tourism, direct flights

Delegations from the UAE and Israel will meet during the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements on areas including energy, tourism, direct flights, investment, security, communication and technology, the UAE foreign ministry said.

 

15:50 GMT – UAE-Israel deal ‘a win for diplomacy, the region’

The UAE’s embassy to the United States said an agreement to fully normalise relations between Israel and the UAE was a win for diplomacy and for the region that lowers tensions.

UAE Ambassador Youssef Al Otaiba said the agreement maintained the viability of a two-state solution and the UAE remained a strong supporter of the Palestinian people, in a statement on Twitter.

 

15:48 GMT – UAE official says Israeli annexation would have ended peace hopes

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Thursday that any further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory would have ended hopes for peace in the region.

In an interview with Sky News Arabia after the announcement that the UAE had agreed to a deal to normalise relations with Israel, Gargash said the UAE had dismantled a ticking time bomb that was threatening the two-state solution.

 

15:45 GMT – Palestinian official accuses UAE of ‘normalisation’ with Israel

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi accused The United Arab Emirates of “normalisation” with Israel after Thursday’s announcement of a historic peace deal

Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on Twitter: “The UAE has come out in the open on its secret dealings/normalization with Israel. Please don’t do us a favor. We are nobody’s fig leaf!”

 

15:40 GMT – Pompeo says Israel-UAE agreement is enormous step forward

An agreement on normalising relations reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday is an “enormous” step forward on the “right path”, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters with him on a trip to central European countries.

Pompeo made his remarks shortly before taking off from Slovenia for Austria’s capital, Vienna.

The agreement, which US President Donald Trump helped broker, will lead to the full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations.

 

15:40 GMT – Israel hails ‘great day for peace’ after deal with UAE announced

Israel hailed a United States-brokered peace deal with the United Arab Emirates as a “great day for peace” and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to hold a news conference at 16:00 GMT to comment further.

Saying he had to deal with a matter of great national interest, Netanyahu abruptly left a cabinet discussion on the coronavirus crisis about an hour before US President Donald Trump announced the agreement to normalise relations between Israel and the Gulf Arab country.

On Twitter, Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador in Washington, wrote: “A great day for peace! Israel commends the courage of MBZ [de facto UAE leader Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan] for the historic decision of the UAE to join Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) in making peace with Israel. Israel deeply appreciates all … Trump has done to make this breakthrough possible.”

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/uae-israel-normalise-ties-latest-updates-200813154215455.html

How the world reacted to UAE, Israel normalising diplomatic ties
Nations, groups and individual stakeholders in Israeli-Palestine conflict react to UAE and Israel normalising relations.

 

The United Arab Emirates has become the first Gulf Arab country to reach a deal on normalising relations with Israel, capping years of discreet contacts between the two countries in commerce and technology.

 

The so-called “Abraham Agreement”, announced by United States President Donald Trump on Thursday, secures an Israeli commitment to halt further annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank.

 

However, addressing reporters later in Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he agreed to “delay” the annexation as part of the deal with the UAE, but the plans remain “on the table”.

 

The UAE is also the third Arab nation to reach such a deal with Israel, after Jordan and Egypt.

 

Here is how other nations and the various stakeholders in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reacted to the Israel-UAE deal:

 

Palestinian leadership
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the accord.

“The Palestinian leadership rejects and denounces the UAE, Israeli and US trilateral, surprising announcement,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a senior adviser to Abbas.

Abu Rudeineh, reading from a statement outside Abbas’s headquarters in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said the deal was a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause.”

Hanan Ashrawi, an outspoken member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s executive committee who has served in various leadership positions in Palestine, said the UAE’s announcement was the equivalent of being “sold out” by “friends”.

 

 

 

Hamas

Hamas rejected the US-brokered deal establishing formal ties between Israel and the UAE in exchange for Israel dropping its plans to annex land in the occupied West Bank, saying it did not serve the cause of the Palestinians.

“This agreement does absolutely not serve the Palestinian cause, it rather serves the Zionist narrative. This agreement encourages the occupation [by Israel] to continue its denial of the rights of our Palestinian people, and even to continue its crimes against our people,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement.

“What is required is to support the legitimate struggle of our people against the occupation and not to establish agreements with this occupier, and any annexation we will face by a Palestinian confrontation that is supported by the Arabs and internationally, and not by signing normalisation agreements with them [Israel].”

United Arab Emirates

The UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, defended the deal. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Mohammed bin Zayed decision to normalise ties with Israel reflected “badly needed realism,” he said.

“While the peace decision remains basically a Palestinian-Israeli one, the bold initiative of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed has allowed, by banishing the spectre of annexing Palestinian lands, more time for peace opportunities through the two-state solution,” Gargash said in a series of tweets.

“Developing normal ties in return for this is a realistic approach forwarded by the Emirates,” he said. “The successful decision is to take and give. This has been achieved.”

Jordan

Jordan said that the UAE-Israel deal could push forward stalled peace negotiations if it succeeds in prodding Israel to accept a Palestinian state on land that Israel had occupied in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

“If Israel dealt with it as an incentive to end occupation … it will move the region towards a just peace,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a statement on state media.

Israel’s failure to do this would only deepen the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict and threaten the security of the region as a whole, Safadi said.

Safadi said the agreement must be followed by Israel ending any unilateral moves to annex territory in the occupied West Bank that “obstruct peace prospects and violate Palestinian rights”.

“The region is at a crossroads … continued occupation and denial of the Palestinian peoples’ legitimate rights won’t bring peace or security,” Safadi added.

Jewish settler groups

The move angered right-wing Israeli settlers who want to annex the West Bank.

Netanyahu said that while he had promised to apply Israeli sovereignty to areas, including Jewish settlements, in the territory, which Palestinians seek for a future state, he had made clear he first needed a green light from Washington.

“He deceived us. He has deceived half a million residents of the area and hundreds of thousands of voters,” said David Elhayani, head of the Yesha Council of settlers.

Egypt

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a close ally of the UAE, welcomed the agreement.

 

“I followed with interest and appreciation the joint statement between the United States, United Arab Emirates and Israel to halt the Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands and taking steps to bring peace in the Middle East,” el-Sisi said on Twitter.

 

“I value the efforts of those in charge of the deal to achieve prosperity and stability for our region.”

Bahrain

The Gulf state of Bahrain welcomed the accord between the UAE and Israel, state news agency BNA said.

The small island state of Bahrain is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, which has not yet commented on the agreement

Bahrain praised the United States for its efforts towards securing the deal.

Iran

Iran strongly condemned the agreement between Israel and the UAE to normalise ties, calling it an act of “strategic stupidity” that will only strengthen the Tehran-backed “axis of resistance”.

The Iranian foreign ministry denounced the deal as an act of “strategic stupidity from Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv”.

“The oppressed people of Palestine and all the free nations of the world will never forgive the normalising of relations with the criminal Israeli occupation regime and the complicity in its crimes,” a ministry statement said.

“This is stabbing the Palestinians in the back and will strengthen the regional unity against the Zionist regime.”

Iran’s Tasnim news agency, which is affiliated to the country’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said the deal between Israel and the UAE on normalising ties was “shameful”.

Turkey

Turkey said history will not forget and never forgive the “hypocritical behaviour” of the United Arab Emirates in agreeing a deal with Israel to normalise relations.

The Palestinian people and administration were right to react strongly against the agreement, the foreign ministry said.

“History and the conscience of the region’s peoples will not forget and never forgive this hypocritical behaviour of the UAE, betraying the Palestinian cause for the sake of its narrow interests,” it said in a statement.

“It is extremely worrying that the UAE should, with a unilateral action, try and do away with the [2002] Arab Peace Plan developed by the Arab League. It is not in the slightest credible that this three-way declaration should be presented as supporting the Palestinian cause.”

Oman

Oman said it backed the normalisation of ties between the neighbouring United Arab Emirates and Israel, and hoped the move would help achieve a lasting Middle East peace.

A foreign ministry spokesman expressed the sultanate’s “support for the UAE’s decision regarding relations with Israel”, according to a statement on Oman’s official news agency.

Germany

Germany welcomed the “historic” deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

The normalisation of ties between the two countries “is an important contribution to peace in the region”, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the agreement between Israel and the UAE.

“The UAE and Israel’s decision to normalise relations is hugely good news,” Johnson said on Twitter.

“It was my profound hope that annexation did not go ahead in the West Bank and today’s agreement to suspend those plans is a welcome step on the road to a more peaceful Middle East.”

France

France welcomed Israel’s decision to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank under the historic agreement, calling it a “positive step”, Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement, adding that the suspension “must become a definitive measure”.

The accord paved the way for a resumption of talks between Israelis and Palestinians with the aim to establish two states, he said, calling it “the only option” to achieve peace in the region.

 

Joe Biden

In a statement, Democratic United States presidential candidate Joe Biden said: “The UAE’s offer to publicly recognize the State of Israel is a welcome, brave, and badly-needed act of statesmanship …  A Biden-Harris Administration will seek to build on this progress, and will challenge all the nations of the region to keep pace.”

Biden also addressed annexation: “Annexation would be a body blow to the cause of peace, which is why I oppose it now and would oppose it as president,” he said.

United Nations

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, said he hoped the normalisation of ties between Israel and the UAE can help realise a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

“The secretary-general welcomes this agreement, hoping it will create an opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to re-engage in meaningful negotiations that will realise a two state-solution in line with relevant UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements,” a spokesman for Guterres said in a statement.

“The secretary-general will continue to work with all sides to open further possibilities for dialogue, peace and stability,” the spokesman added.

Reactions on Twitter

Lisa Goldman, co-founder of 972Mag, a news and commentary site focused on Israel and Palestine, said, “Netanyahu never intended to annex” the West Bank, but the UAE is “claiming a diplomatic victory in exchange for what’s probably a lot of very valuable security cooperation from Israel. All on the backs of Palestinians, as usual.”

 

 

The move also struck some Palestinians as ill-timed and insulting for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who live in the UAE.

Mohammed Hemish, who works in communications at al-Shabaka, the premier Palestinian policy network, chided the UAE for its treatment of Palestinians who moved to the Emirates after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, which displaced more than 700,000 Palestinians, and subsequent wars that displaced more.

 

 

J Street

The left-wing advocacy group J Street welcomed announcements that Israel is suspending plans to annex parts of the West Bank and that the UAE and Israel are taking steps to establish more normalised ties.

“Clarification will be needed that this is not simply a short-term suspension of a disastrous idea, and the United States and the international community should be demanding that Israel commit permanently not to proceed with any unilateral annexation,” the group said in a statement.

“The agreement between Israel and the UAE to move toward fully normalized ties is also welcome news for all who wish to see a stable and prosperous Israel living in peace and security alongside all of its regional neighbours,” the statement read. “It is just the latest evidence that dialogue and diplomacy, rather than unilateral action and belligerence, are the route to long-term security.”

Ghana

Ras Mubarak, a parliamentarian in Ghana, called the UAE’s move “a betrayal” of the Palestinian people, comparing their plight to that of Black South Africans during the apartheid era.

“During the South African people’s struggle against apartheid, African states formed the frontline of resistance against Pretoria’s brutal regime. From Zambia to Tanzania, to Ghana and Algeria, countries across the African continent provided logistical, political and economic support to South Africa’s liberation struggle,” Mubarak said in a statement.

“All Arab states must treat The apartheid state of Israel in the same way that African states treated apartheid South Africa. There can be no normalization of ties with Israel while the Palestinian people are still occupied; there can be no normalization of ties while Israel still practices apartheid, colonialism and siege against the Palestinians.”

 

Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/world-reacted-uae-israel-normalising-diplomatic-ties-200813152921879.html

Turkey-France relations: Deepening cross-purposes

 

BY ABDENNOUR TOUMI

OP-ED AUG 14, 2020 12:05 AM GMT+3

Acold wind is blowing between Paris and Ankara since last fall when the French government summoned the Turkish envoy in Paris after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron was suffering from “brain death.”

Erdoğan had repeated the same expression Macron had used to describe NATO, to hit back at the French president over his criticism of fellow NATO member Turkey’s intervention against YPG/PKK terrorist elements in northeastern Syria. Macron has been one of Ankara’s most vocal critics since it intensified offensives against terror enclaves in the region.

Recently, the two countries faced each other in another crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean. On June 10, a naval crisis erupted between the two off the Libyan coast. France accused Turkey, taking the case to NATO and calling on the EU Commission to impose sanctions.

Later, the French government condemned the decision of the Turkish authorities to revert Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. “France deplores the decision of the Turkish Supreme Court to modify the museum status of Saint Sophia and President Erdoğan’s presidential decree reverting Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque, under the authority of the Presidency of Religious Affairs, after Turkey’s highest administrative court decision,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

Quarrel in Libya

Beyond the maritime incident, “the bottom of the case is the repeated violations of the arms embargo by Turkey and history of falsifications and trafficking,” said French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly.

Paris indeed denounces the Turkish military intervention in Libya alongside the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.

Before participating again in Operation Sea Guardian, France requested “that the allies solemnly reaffirm their attachment and their commitment of respect for the embargo.”

An investigation by the French newspaper Le Monde in February 2016 revealed that France had secretly deployed its special forces and the operational arm called “service action” of the French General Directorate of External Security (DGSE) for very precise strikes against targets, designated as affiliates of Daesh in Libya. Its “aim” was to contain the eventual development of the Daesh threat in Libya.

France’s realpolitik stance on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, before and during the Arab uprisings, was accused “hypocrisy” for collaborating with authoritarian and corrupted regimes, for instance, the Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime in Tunisia.

However, despite former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s relations with Libya’s late autocrat, Moammar Gadhafi, France adopted a leading role in the military intervention to Libya in 2011. France’s approach toward its regional allies was full of rhetorical and cautionary discourses, and never toward regime change despite the overwhelming lack of legitimacy and credibility of those regimes.

Human rights principals

The “moral-politik” discourses of France’s foreign policy is damaging the credibility of the country and its foreign policy principals. Paris’ independent foreign policy in the MENA region, notably in Libya and Tunisia, is questioned and Macron’s attempts to use the crises in Lebanon and Syria were seen as a move to damage Turkey’s regional influence. For example, his visit to the site of the Beirut blast and statements there proved the legitimacy of these critiques.

For Paris, it’s too late to revive Sarkozy’s Mediterranean Union still-born project. The recent developments in Eastern Mediterranean Basin’s offshore natural gas prospects have roused tensions between the five countries that Paris sees as potential allies to contain Ankara’s exploration projects and role.

The strategic landscape is in such fast evolution that President Macron should take the future of the new Libya into consideration; however, the true evolution is driven by the Turks, who have put themselves in a very strong position with the Italians and the Germans, negotiating overtly, coordinating with the Americans and holding Russians back, while imposing new imperatives in NATO, applying the French adage. One must speak to his adversaries and not to his friends.

The relations between France and Turkey have gotten sour ever since the French Senate approved in January 2012 the vote of the Congress on the sour-sweet Armenian dish. This case goes back to 1915-1916 when the Ottoman act was falsely qualified by the French Congress as “genocide.”

In the past, whenever Turkey’s candidacy to the EU got closer to serious consideration, the rejectionist camp in the EU brought up the Armenian case, which without a doubt, successive Turkish governments preferred to leave it to their domestic and sub-regional objective policies

Sarkozy, who was described by the French media as a political kamikaze, had landed this time up against a vigorous Turkish wall. Today, Macron is playing a new diplomatic game called Tac-O-Tac. He is desperately looking for resurrection after his domestic political troubles and his poor crisis management of the health care pandemic brought by COVID-19.

There are also other challenges for him such as the yellow vest protest movement as well as other social and societal movement waves. The municipal elections outcomes were a political hurricane for President Macron who obliged him to fire his center-right premier and hire a conservative prime minister from the hardcore of the French right. He is unlike Erdoğan who came out stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis nationally and internationally alike.

Rivalry foreign policy

What does France stand to gain or to achieve? Legally, it is deceitful. France is still chased by its own heavy-loaded colonial crimes. Politically, it is poor judgment, France needs Ankara in the entire MENA region turmoil, from the Iranian nuclear dossier to the Syrian civil war impasse, and recently for the Lebanese political and financial crisis to the Libyan war and power influence game. There is also the migrant issue at hand and Ankara has been doing a great job on the migrant crisis, serving as a robust gendarme protecting the EU countries of mass migrant influxes. Turkey’s success in the war on terror is also here to mention.

At the sub-regional level, in France’s courtyard in the Maghreb and the Sahel, its national and security interests are in jeopardy. The French should look at Ankara with tender eyes for help in Libya, Paris’ “surreal-politik” policy in Libya like in Syria has put Paris in panic alarm.

Besides, in the fight against armed groups like al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), al-Mourabitoun, Ansar al-Din, and Boko Haram, all of which menace the stability of the Sahel and West African countries, Ankara could play a major role with the tribal Muslim leaders.

Economically, it is a lose-lose situation for Paris if the country sticks with the narrative of sourness; history has never been a good source of governing for politicians because its myths bite them and make them look foolish, alliances work better with a brain to restrain conflict, and maintain NATO member’s balance and entente over leaders’ cross-purpose. It sounds inevitable that President Macron’s foreign policy is better off with a cemented realpolitik, and will not let the whole past rivalry weigh on the present reality.

*North Africa expert at the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM)

Source: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailysabah.com/opinion/op-ed/turkey-france-relations-deepening-cross-purposes/amp

Turkey slams UAE over recent deal with Israel, says it ignores will of Palestine

August 14 2020 09:32:00

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Aug. 14 that Turkey was considering closing its embassy in Abu Dhabi and suspending diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates over its accord to normalize ties with Israel.

“I gave an order to the foreign minister. I said we could suspend diplomatic relations with the Abu Dhabi administration or withdraw our ambassador because we stand with the Palestinian people. We have not let Palestine be defeated, or let it be defeated,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu accused the UAE of “cullying to undermine the Palestinian administration for years.”

“It is a country that puts pressure on some Arab countries regarding Palestine. We say clearly that it betrayed the Palestinian cause for its interests” he said on Aug. 14 speaking at a press conference in Switzerland.

Turkish Foreign Ministry said history will never forgive the “hypocritical behavior” of the UAE in agreeing such a deal.

“The UAE, which is trying to make secret calculations over the U.S. plan, which is already stillborn and has no validity, in this way ignores the will of Palestine,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement over the deal which will lead to full normalization of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel.

Ankara justifies the strong and joint response by the Palestinian people and administration to the joint declaration announced by the U.S., Israel and the UAE, which envisions the full normalization of Israel-UAE relations, said the statement.

The UAE’s efforts to “eliminate” the Arab Peace Plan, which was developed by the Arab League under the leadership of Saudi Arabia in 2002 and supported by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is “extremely worrying,” said the statement.

“Nevertheless, there is no credibility to present the trilateral declaration in support of the Palestinian cause,” said Ankara, stressing that history will “not forgive” the UAE for its behavior in making such a deal.

“History and the conscience of the peoples of the region will never forget and will never forgive this hypocritical behavior of the UAE, which tries to present it as a sacrifice for Palestine while betraying the Palestinian cause for its own narrow interests,” read the statement.

“History will not forget those who betray the Palestinian people and sell out the Palestinian cause. Their miserable policies will not deter but give only strength to those who believe in justice, freedom and nobility. Turkey will continue to stand by the Palestinian people.” Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın tweeted.

On Aug. 13, U.S. President Donald Trump announced an agreement between Israel and UAE which envisages to carry out work for “full normalization of relations,” a deal the Palestinians called a “treacherous stab in the back.”

Tel Aviv said it has agreed to “delay” the annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank, but the plan “remains on the table.

“Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit,” the joint statement said.

The UAE is the first Gulf Arab state and the third Arab nation – after Egypt and Jordan – to announce active ties with Israel.

Source: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.hurriyetdailynews.com/amp/turkey-slams-uae-over-recent-deal-with-israel-says-it-ignores-will-of-palestine-157389

Azerbaijani president receives Turkish defense minister
NewsTurkeyDiplomacy

August 14 2020 09:11:31

Turkey will be Azerbaijan’s number one partner in military and military-technical cooperation in the near future, President Ilham Aliyev said on Aug. 13 during a meeting with a delegation led by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

“As is the case in all other areas, our cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres is developing fast. It is no secret that Turkey possesses a strong military-industrial potential and we are benefiting from this potential,” said Aliyev.

He underlined that Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises reflect the unity and brotherhood between the two countries, noting that more than 10 joint exercises are held in both Turkey and Azerbaijan each year.

Aliyev said that with such exercises being commonplace, there is no reason for some countries to be concerned, as it is just another manifestation of Turkish-Azerbaijani unity and brotherhood.

During the visit, Akar condemned the recent attack by Armenia in Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district.

“Azerbaijan is not alone. We will continue to support Azerbaijan in its just struggle. In the struggle of Azerbaijan for the liberation of the occupied lands, we, Turkey with a population of 83 million, are next to our brothers,” he said.

Last month, Armenia attacked Azerbaijani troops in the northwestern Tovuz border region. At least 12 Azerbaijani soldiers were martyred, including a major general and a colonel. A 76-year-old Azerbaijani citizen also lost his life.

Azerbaijan accused Armenia of “provocative” actions, with Ankara warning Yerevan that it would not hesitate to stand against any kind of attack on Azerbaijan.

Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, has been under illegal Armenian occupation since 1991.

International organizations including the U.N. have demanded the withdrawal of the occupational forces.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group, co-chaired by France, Russia and the US, was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail.

The war games between the two countries began on July 29, and Aug. 5 was the last day of ground engagements taking place in the capital Baku and the exclave of Nakhchivan – Azerbaijan’s autonomous region bordering Turkey – with artillery, armored vehicles and mortars striking simulated targets

Source: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.hurriyetdailynews.com/amp/azerbaijani-president-receives-turkish-defense-minister-157379