Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said that he is considering cutting off all diplomatic ties with the UAE after the Gulf nation announced a deal establishing formal relations with Israel.
The Turkish president harshly criticized the UAE for its deal with Israel, as most Arab nations have historically refrained from maintaining formal diplomatic relations with the state in protest against its occupation of Palestine.
“I gave an order to the foreign minister. I said we could suspend diplomatic relations with the Abu Dhabi administration or withdraw our ambassador,” Erdogan told reporters.
Turkey said history and the collective conscience of people in the Middle East will not forget and never forgive the “hypocritical behavior” of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in agreeing to establish formal relations with Israel, reports said.
Note that the UAE was the first Persian Gulf Arab state and the third Arab nation – after Egypt and Jordan – to announce active ties with Israel on Thursday.
In the deal announced on Thursday by the US, Israel pledged to suspend its planned annexation of Palestinian lands in exchange for a normalisation of ties with the UAE.
The Turkish foreign ministry said on Friday the Palestinian people and administration were right to react strongly against the UAE-Israel ties.
“The UAE, which is pursuing secret ambitions over a US plan that is stillborn, null and void, ignores the willpower of Palestine,” said a ministry statement.
Turkey expressed grim concern over the UAE’s aim to unilaterally put an end to the 2002 Arab Peace Plan, which intended a normalization of relations between the Arab world and Israel in exchange for a full withdrawal by Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories.
“With that being the case, there is no credibility in presenting the trilateral declaration (between the US, UAE and Israel) as a support to the Palestinian cause.”
The UAE administration “has no authority to negotiate with Israel on behalf of Palestine without consent from its people and administration regarding vital matters”, the ministry said.
“Neither history nor the collective conscience of the region will ever forget and forgive the hypocritical behavior of the UAE, which is trying to depict the deal as a sacrifice for Palestine, when in reality it is a betrayal to the Palestinian cause for its own narrow interests.”
Under the UAE-Israel agreement announced by US President Donald Trump on Thursday, Israel said it agreed to “delay” the annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank, but the plan “remains on table”.
The surprise deal was the product of lengthy discussions between Israel, the UAE and the US that accelerated recently, the White House said.