The Israeli and Emirati defense ministers spoke on the phone on Tuesday about their countries’ recent controversial deal to normalize relations. 

Benny Gantz and the United Arab Emirates’ Mohammed bin Ahmad Al Bawardi stressed that the security interests of the two countries coincide and that their normalization deal will strengthen stability in the region, according to a statement by Israel’s Defense Ministry.

Earlier this month, the UAE and Israel announced a US-brokered agreement to normalize their relations, including opening embassies in each other’s territory.

Following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, the UAE will be the third Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel.

Palestinian groups have denounced the deal, saying it ignores the rights of Palestinians and does not serve the Palestinian cause.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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