The UAE called Turkey's opposition to the UAE-Israeli peace agreement "pure hypocrisy" and accused Ankara of "trying to take advantage of the situation of the Palestinians for selfish regional considerations. He noted that 550,000 Israelis visited Turkey last year, and that the two countries generate about $3 billion in trade annually, and that Turkey has had an embassy in Israel for decades.
Reflecting on Iran's connection to the peace agreement, the minister said that the UAE did not need peace with Israel to counter Iran, but admitted that Iran's aggressive policies over three decades alarmed many Arab countries and made them look at their relationship with Israel with different eyes.
The statements were made in a virtual briefing at the equally virtual annual meeting of the UN General Assembly of world leaders. Refusing to speculate on whether other Arab countries would follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in establishing relations with Israel, Gargash said that "all I want to say is that the more strategic the Israelis look at these relations, the more doors will open to them. If they see it in a very transactional way, I think it's not going to send a very good omen for normalizing relations with many of the Arab countries.
Gargash added that the UAE's message to Israel is to "look at these opportunities and build strategically, and think long term rather than short term," and to prove wrong those countries that say that because of Israel's political system their decision-makers think only tactically.
A month after the U.S.-brokered diplomatic agreement with Israel was signed at the White House, Gargash noted that the two countries are negotiating "what I would call normal bilateral relations. He said the UAE has sent several agreements to the Israelis on investment protection, double taxation, visa exemptions and air services. "We are waiting for them to come back to us, because it is essential that a relationship be built on these solid foundations. Looking back on the UAE's decision to normalize relations with Israel, Gargash said the government decided it was strategically good for the country, "and will make the UAE more global.
The government also predicted the reaction "very precisely": enthusiasm in Europe, bipartisan support in the United States and support from Russia and China and many other countries in Africa and Asia. But the Arab world and the region remain polarized, Gargash said, although "I would like to say that we have not lost a single friend. "The United Arab Emirates was expecting Palestinian opposition," Gargash said, adding that he believes they are "sulking" at the moment.
He stressed that the UAE still supports the two-state solution and the end of the Israeli occupation and does not agree politically with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "But we need to open channels of communication because the Arab experience of not having communication with Israel has not really yielded any results," Gargash reflected.
The minister believes that the agreements of the two Gulf nations "bring a new dynamism" to the Israeli-Palestinian situation. "The Palestinians are angry right now, but I think they will see the benefit in the medium term," he concluded.