JERUSALEM – The Israeli Cabinet unanimously voted Monday to ratify the Abraham Accords peace treaty with the United Arab Emirates.
A full Knesset discussion and debate is planned for Thursday, after which a vote will be held.
Every expectation is that the parliament will overwhelmingly approve the historic peace accords, the first Arab-Israeli peace deal in more than a quarter of a century.
At the same time, the Israeli and UAE leaders spoke by phone this weekend and agreed to plan a time to meet in-person publicly.
A senior diplomatic source tells ALL ISRAEL NEWS that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan (MBZ) have met – in secret – at least once before.
“This weekend I spoke with my friend, the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed,” Netanyahu said during his Monday meeting with the Cabinet. “I invited him to visit Israel, he invited me to visit Abu Dhabi.”
At 11:20 a.m. local time, MBZ tweeted, “During a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, we discussed strengthening bilateral ties and examined prospects for peace and the need for stability, cooperation and development in the region.”
The UAE newspaper, The National, first reported the call.
At 12:54 p.m. local time, Netanyahu’s official Twitter account sent out three messages.
“Over the weekend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone with His Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates in their first conversation since the signing of the historic peace treaty at the White House,” read the first.
“The two leaders discussed their great hopes for the cooperation between Israel and the UAE, which will strengthen both countries, and in this context also discussed working together more closely to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected nations across the globe,” read the second.
“The two leaders called for the further consolidation of peace in the Middle East which will contribute to stability, security and prosperity of all peoples in the region, and expressed their gratitude to President Donald Trump and the USA for the vital support of this effort,” stated the third.
The peace treaty was first announced on Aug. 13. The Abraham Accords were signed on the South Lawn of the White House on Sept. 15.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.