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Israel and UAE to sign major trade agreement by 'end of next month', says diplomat

Israel and UAE signed US-brokered normalisation agreement in 2020
Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan shaking hands with Israel's President Isaac Herzog as the former in Abu Dhabi on 30 January 2022 (AFP)

Israel and the UAE are set to sign a trade agreement by the "end of next month" according to the Emirati ambassador to Israel.

"Following the agreements with India and Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and Israel plan to advance the closure of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement 'CEPA' towards the end of next month," tweeted Mohamed al-Khaja.

"The United Arab Emirates believes that the 'CEPA' agreement with Israel will serve as an accelerator for significant economic prosperity."

Last month, three members of the UAE's Federal National Council visited Israel's parliament, becoming the first Emirati delegation there since the US-brokered normalisation of ties - dubbed the Abraham Accords - in 2020.

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"When we talk about Abraham Accords agreements, we want you to look at the big picture," Ali Rashid al-Nuaimi, chairman of the council's defence, interior and foreign affairs committee, said at the Israeli foreign and defence committee.

"It's not a political agreement only, it's not an issue related to security and defence issue. No, it is an agent of change for the whole region," Nuaimi said, advocating "full engagement in all sectors".

Prior to the visit to the Knesset, the Emirati delegation visited Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial.

The UAE became the third Arab nation to normalise ties with Israel after Egypt and Jordan, a move that angered the Palestinians as it recognised the Israeli state before the establishment of a Palestinian one.

Bahrain and Morocco have also normalised ties with Israel under the accords.

Sudan has agreed to do so, but formal diplomatic relations have not yet emerged amid escalating instability in Khartoum. 

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