President Donald Trump announces a peace agreement between Israel and United Arab Emirates at the White House. Pool Photo by Doug Mills/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed Thursday to full normalization of relations, with Israel suspending its efforts to annex parts of the West Bank.
The agreement was finalized during a phone call between President Donald Trump; Israeli Prime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates.
A White House statement said the agreement will "advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region."
Tucked into the announcement was an agreement that Israel will "suspend" West Bank annexation, which was part of Trump's Middle East peace plan. Netanyahu had campaigned during Israeli elections on annexing portions of the West Bank.
The announcement said the countries will focus on "expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world. The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal."
Last month, Netanyahu held off on starting the process of annexing 30% of the West Bank and many major Jewish settlements under Israeli sovereignty. Palestinians had long denounced any plans to annex the West Bank and called for a state of its own based on boundary lines in 1967.
Officials from Israel and the UAE will meet soon on bilateral agreements covering investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, the statement said.