ISTANBUL

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will establish an embassy in Tel Aviv, its Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said Thursday at a video conference with US-based Atlantic Council think-tank.

Gargash said when a normalization agreement with Israel is signed that was announced last week, “Abu Dhabi will have its embassy in Tel Aviv based on international consensus to a two-state solution.”

“The embassy will be in Tel Aviv. This is very clear,” he said.

Asked about achievements reached in the deal, he said: “The most concrete achievement was to stop the annexation of Palestinian lands” and reiterated UAE’s commitment to a two-state solution.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, has said he agreed to delay annexation in the occupied West Bank as part of a normalisation deal, but the plans remain “on the table”.

The agreement has long-term gains, said Gargash, and “certainly, this step will create opportunities. Our economy is bigger than Israel’s. Israel has great opportunities here [in the UAE].”

F-35 purchase request

He said the deal also paves the way to purchase F-35 fighter jets from the US that the UAE had clearly requested to buy.

“Our first request was six years ago. This is something that happened on the table. Our legal request is on the table,” he said, asserting that the request has nothing to do with the deal.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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