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'diplomatic breakthrough'

Israel and United Arab Emirates agree to 'full normalization' of relations

The United Arab Emirates and Israel have agreed to the "full normalization of relations," the White House said on Thursday.

A joint statement between the United States and the two countries announced the major development, saying that delegations from the United Arab Emirates and Israel will meet in the coming weeks to sign agreements on investment, tourism, direct flights, and more after this "diplomatic breakthrough" that will "transform the region."

The United Arab Emirates has thus become the third Arab country to have diplomatic ties with Israel, with the other two being Egypt and Jordan, according to The Associated Press. Israel will suspend plans to annex occupied West Bank territory under the agreement, The New York Times reports.

President Trump in the Oval Office called this a "historic moment," while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it's a "remarkable achievement for two of the world's most forward leaning, technologically advanced states." But Axios notes there "could still be hurdles" given the "far less definitive" statement from the UAE's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed, who described the agreement as a "roadmap towards establishing a bilateral relationship."