Representatives of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Israel and the United States Governments will gather in Washington, DC on Tuesday to sign the historic normalization tone between the Gulf countries and Israel.
After the UAE agreement was announced in August, and the “Abraham Accord” announced by White House officials, the UAE became the third Arab country and the first Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) To agree to establish relations with Israel.
The agreement ends Israel’s economic boycott of the UAE and gives Emirates the possibility of enhanced US arms sales. Explosions in the form of “betrayal” by Palestinians, a sentiment echoed by regional players Turkey and Iran, will have lasting, unprecedented geopolitical implications in the deal, experts told Al Jazeera.
But the extent of these effects can be seen.
William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Program at the DC International Center for International Policy, pointed out that Al Jazeera’s arms sales were an “important factor” in the agreements.
The UAE has long wanted F-35 fighter jets, Hartung said, and larger drones, which the US was unable to sell because of its commitment to Israel’s military advantage.
But trump often Arms sale Hartung said there was a possibility of seeing the UAE as a positive customer.
According to data from the Forum of Arms Trade (FAT) of the US Foreign Military Sales Program, the US recorded a 42 percent increase in its arms sales in 2019.
But the Middle East and North Africa region eluded global growth, rising from $ 11.8bn in 2018 to more than $ 25bn in 2019, or 118 percent. Morocco led the pack in American arms purchases with $ 12 billion sold to Robert.
Nations in the GCC were responsible for the rest. The UAE spent more than $ 4.7bn on US arms in 2019, the FAT recorded, Bahrain spent $ 3.37bn, Qatar nearly $ 3bn and Saudi Arabia spent about $ 2.7bn.
Hartung said that Bahrain could agree to normalize access to advanced weapons and that the Saudis could potentially follow.
“Trump has certainly benefited from US transfers after taking hold of the F-16s … so they may feel somewhat on that front”, Hurtung said to the jets to Bahrain without conditions for human rights Cited a 2017 decision to sell.
However, the status of an F-35 deal with the United Arab Emirates remains doubtful, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces criticism from his right-wing base as his political fortunes fall.
Regarding the domestic political victory, Hartung said that the Trump administration could “brag” about generalizations during the presidential campaign and possibly postpone jobs from the F-35 program.
It could also be “burning the F-35 program”, which costs trillions for American taxpayers and is criticized for its costs and inefficiencies, noted Hartung.
The move could also be considered “a move to advance Iran”, a target of the ire on behalf of the Trump administration and a regional enemy for the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel, although Hartung said That they did not see it as a benefit.
John Alterman, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told Al Jazeera that the Gulf countries have raised new questions while normalizing relations with Israel, calling it “an unrealistic dedication from the Trump administration to traditional diplomacy” ” is.
Alterman said that the deal with the UAE “shows that the Trump administration was capable of conducting diplomatic maneuvers.”Things early with the president’s involvement “.
However, concerns remain regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Altermann said. The normalization agreement could pave the way for other major Arab states to normalize relations with Israel without addressing the underlying issues of conflict.
“We still have a long way to go to resolve the long-running conflict,” Alterman said. “I hope it attempts to reduce efforts to resolve it rather than claim it.”
While regional implications for Arab states receive greater attention, Alterman wrote for the CSIS that it can provide “a more robust and inclusive regional dialogue that is a constructive way of reducing tensions between Israel, Turkey and Iran.” Maybe “, the region’s three most powerful – and non-Arab – countries.
View from tehran
Israel and countries like the UAE and Bahrain, which are Shia-dominated countries with a Sunni monarchy, have long held a shared interest of keeping Iran at bay.
But Asal Rad, a senior research fellow at the National Iranian-American Council, does not think Iran was in the “stance toward the UAE”.
The UAE and Iran have long-standing economic ties and a large number of migrants, about 500,000 Iranians, mostly residing in Dubai.
The UAE exported a total of $ 10.23bn to Iran in 2018, according to UN figures cited by Trade Tax Economics among Iran’s top trade partners.
But Red did not see normalization as “adopting an anti-Iran stance and aligned with Israel”, he said.
If the UAE was adopting an anti-Iran strategy, meetings were recently held between Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who would lead the UAE delegation to Washington on Tuesday.
“It is trying to strike a balance of sorts. I don’t see it as an anti-Iran move. They wanted advanced weapons … which makes the deal possible.”
Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Queney Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told Al Jazeera that more advanced weapons sales could threaten regional stability, but not in Iran, and it is unclear how encouraging the UAE’s leadership could be .
“On one hand, they want it, but … it doesn’t scream confidence when [Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan] Parsi is not going to show the signing ceremony in the US, ”Parsi commented.
But generalization may have led to an “emboldened” UAE in Yemen in Libya, he continued.
|The video reportedly shows the United Arab Emirates’ involvement in Libya (2:34)|
Parsis pointed to Saudi Arabia, which claimed to have obtained silent approval for “reckless” military action in Yemen by purchasing American weapons.
“They are operating under the impression that they have America’s security … To this day, even when Congress has voted twice to stop the war in Yemen, the president has given two Vetoed the bar. ”
While the United Arab Emirates has curtailed action in Yemen, it is still active there and concerns remain about military action in Libya, the Parsis warned.
Alterman said the generalization for the UAE in general was not to “get out of jail-free cards”.
The upcoming election could shift America’s strategy for the Gulf region into a broader conversation about how much effort the US should make on the region, which continues in individual Gulf states.
“Ultimately, the US has a big regional strategy [more important] Compared to any of his personal relationships with individual states, Alterman said, and “every country needs to figure out how to shape its relationship within the US strategy”.
The generalization represents “the beginning of the UAE’s answer to that question”, Alterman concluded.