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UAE-Israel Deal: A Major Development Ahead Of The US Elections

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A great number of people consider the new United Arab Emirates and Israel nexus pernicious to Palestine cause while thinking of UAE as a Muslim state. After the official announcement from President Donald Trump regarding the recent deal between UAE and Israel, the debate about the impacts and the possible outcomes of the deal has already started. However, considering the current scenario, the Middle East and Asian political setting would too face the significant repercussions of the deal.

China, a key player in world politics, has been working closely with the UAE to have access to the Middle East and the African region for its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China has been investing heavily in the gulf country for the last three to four years in almost all the major sectors, supporting the UAE’s economy. Therefore, the UAE-Israel deal – for which President Trump had played a crucial role – does not seem to be much endorsed by the Chinese side.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, in a media briefing, however, acknowledged the decisions that would help ease tensions in the Middle East. But he also propounded that China will support the Palestine cause and its efforts to be an independent state. It demonstrates China’s policy towards Palestine.

In the recent past, unequivocally, President Trump was not much pleased on the Iran-China Chabahar port deal (still the sanctions were removed for the project by the US as this port is also important for stabilizing war-torn Afghanistan), as it would help China to have a greater influence on Iran, which is considered as the protuberant foe of the US in the region. As in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and UAE are the chief allies of the US, therefore, the US is expecting much from them to counter the burgeoning influence of China in the region.

Similar to many, Iran blatantly condemned this deal and blamed UAE for its irresponsible act and for stabbing Palestinians in their backs. Such a response from Iran’s side was expected, as Iran, usually, does not support any development wherein the US act as a player. Likewise, Turkey, another major player in the Middle East political sphere, not only condemned the deal but also mentioned that the state has been thinking to cut off the diplomatic ties with the UAE. Such aggressive retorts from Iran and Turkey, exhibit that the Middle East, once again, is under the dark shadow of political instability.

While on the other end, the recent US-brokered deal once again makes it clear that the US wants to have a greater influence in the region by making its allies strongly connected and mutually associated. And this narrative that the US is isolating itself from regional politics under the Trump regime does not seem to be well articulated. Meanwhile, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close companion of President Trump, called this deal a “historic” one and said that he expected to have more Arab countries as diplomatic friends. But in the region, Saudi Arabia, which is considered as the most important country, in its recent reaction revealed that it is not easy for the Saudis to acknowledge the deal and to be friends with Israel.

At this moment, particularly, it is important to understand all these developments in the backdrop of the US elections of 2020, which are going to be held in November. President Trump wants to have major developments on his credit to win the upcoming general elections. The hasty withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan because of the Doha Peace agreement between the Taliban and the US, enumerating the fact that Trump is enthusiastic to take the credit of the Afghan peace process in his election campaign. In another attempt to get popular support from the citizenry and to tackle the opposition on reckless response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the US president has been blaming China since the very first day of the outbreak. And similarly, for the recent deal, the US president publicly admits his effective role in the agreement process as most of the Americans consider it a major breakthrough.

Undoubtedly, the recent development would have a tremendous impact on Palestinian political and foreign setup, as Palestine in an apprehensive manner consider it a move against the sovereignty of the Palestine cause. Yet, it would be too early to comment on the prospects of the multi-faceted deal. However, the deal has demonstrated that the US still wants to see allies in the Arab and Gulf states, making its presence clear in the region.

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Naya Daur