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Iran, Turkey Lash Out at UAE on Israel 08/14 06:00

   Iran and Turkey lashed out at their regional rival the United Arab Emirates 
on Friday over its decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel, 
accusing it of betraying the Palestinian cause, even as much of the 
international community welcomed the move.

   JERUSALEM (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, accusing it of betraying the Palestinian cause, even as 
much of the international community welcomed the move.

   Iran's Foreign Ministry called the U.S.-brokered 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 U.S. 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.

   Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcomed both the agreement and the 
decision to suspend annexation and called to congratulate his Israeli 
counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi on "this historic step."

   "We stand by our position that only a negotiated two-state solution can 
bring lasting peace to the Middle East," Maas said in a statement. "Together 
with our European partners and the region we have campaigned intensively in 
past months against an annexation and for the resumption of direct 
negotiations."

   China also said it welcomes "any measure that helps in easing tensions 
between Middle Eastern countries and promotes regional peace and stability."

   Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Beijing will "continue to firmly 
support the Palestinian people's just cause of restoring their legitimate 
national rights and building national independence."

 
 
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