JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation on Thursday night announcing full diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates calling it a “historic evening.”
Here are excerpts from his speech:
“Today marks the beginning of a new era in the State of Israel’s relations with the Arab world. In this conversation, we decided on the establishment of an official and complete peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
“The United Arab Emirates is one of the most advanced and powerful countries in the world. The Emirates will make a very significant investment in Israel in the development of the corona virus vaccine. We will also cooperate in energy, water and environmental protection, in many other areas.”
“This is a very important thing for our economy, for the region’s economy and for our future.”
Three peace agreements between Israel and Arab states
“The warm and friendly conversation with President Trump and the Sheikh was unparalleled. This is a historic moment for a breakthrough for peace in the Middle East. In 1979, the late Menachem Begin established a peace agreement with Egypt; in 1994, Yitzhak Rabin.
“A peace agreement with Jordan, and now in 2020, falls on the parts of the great privilege, after years of efforts I invest in it, and dream about it, and work for it – to establish the third peace agreement between Israel and an Arab country, the United Arab Emirates.”
“Already in 2009 I highlighted the extraordinary entrepreneurial achievements I see in the Persian Gulf. I said then about these achievements that are amazing to the whole world and they impress me as well.
“I have always believed that it is possible and therefore I have invested in cultivating relations with leading countries in the Arab world and the Muslims.”
“I have done this consistently, step by step, for years. Among other things, I met with the President of Sudan, visited Oman, held political contacts throughout the region. We have led a huge change in relations with the countries.”
“This agreement shows the dramatic change we have made in Israel’s status in the Middle East.”
“While for decades Israel has been portrayed as an enemy, as an island of instability in the Middle East, today many countries see Israel as a strategic ally for security, progress and also peace. The citizens of the moderate countries in the Middle East are on one front for the sake of progress, on one front against the extremist forces that threaten us and the peace of the whole world.”
“…this is the only peace that is sustainable – and I am committed to it. I say this as someone who has experienced firsthand the loss of a beloved brother and comrades-in-arms who fell on the battlefield.
“We exist. We are a people seeking peace. I am sure that on this historic day, when we bring true peace to an important Arab country, everyone is happy about it.
“I want to thank Trump, Israel’s greatest friend of all time. I say to the residents of the United Arab Emirates, headed by Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad, Salam Aleichem, Shalom Aleichem and Shalom Aleichem.”