President Donald Trump announced earlier this month that the U.S. had worked out a peace deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel. Now, that peace deal has led to another historic moment in Middle East relations.
According to the Daily Caller, the UAE announced on Saturday that it will officially end its boycott of Israeli goods.
UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan stated that ending the boycott is part of “the UAE’s efforts to expand diplomatic and commercial cooperation with Israel, leading to bilateral relations by stimulating economic growth and promoting technological innovation,” NBC News reported.
“This is an important step toward advancing peace and prosperity in the region,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, according to the Associated Press.
An end to the boycott
According to NPR, the boycott had been in place since 1972, when it was legally established in response to Israel’s alleged treatment of Palestinians.
Prior to Saturday’s decree, there were some security and economic agreements negotiated between Israel and the UAE, but they were quiet and informal. The new order from the UAE makes things official.
According to the AP: “[T]he new decree allows Israelis and Israeli firms to do business in the UAE, a U.S.-allied federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. It also allows for the purchase and trade of Israeli goods.”
Saturday’s decree also breaks down a process for integrating Israel and the UAE’s economies.
Trump made it happen
This all comes a few weeks after President Trump first announced the UAE–Israel peace deal.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan express their deep appreciation to President Trump for his dedication to peace in the region and to the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to achieve it,” Israel and the UAE said in a joint statement at the time, as the Daily Caller reported.
With Saturday’s decree, we are already seeing that the U.S.-backed deal was more than just a document; in just weeks, the UAE has made another positive step toward normalized relations with Israel. Only two other Arab nations — Egypt and Jordan — “currently have diplomatic relations with Israel,” the AP notes.
We’ll have to keep an eye on how the situation progresses. But for now, the situation in the Middle East seems to be improving — and it’s all thanks to Donald Trump.