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Israel and United Arab Emirates have agreed to normalise relations in exchange for suspension of Israeli plans to annex parts of West Bank. The historic breakthrough was announced in joint statement yesterday by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Al Nahyan, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump. They expressed hope that "historic breakthrough will advance peace in Middle East". Israel has had diplomatic relations with its neighbours Egypt and Jordan for decades, but until now, it has never had such relationship with any Gulf Arab state. Israel will "focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in Arab and Muslim world".

The agreement is called Abraham Accord. The three leaders behind it said: "This historic diplomatic testament to bold courage of UAE and Israel to chart new path that will unlock great potential in the region." Mr Netanyahu called it "historic day". However, he said the sovereignty of the West Bank "remains on table". The UAE said the deal with Israel was "win for diplomacy and region". It added: "It is significant advance in Arab-Israeli relations that lowers tensions and creates new energy for positive change." The Palestinian leadership called it "betrayal" of the Palestinian cause and equivalent of being "sold out by friends".

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