Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a military base in Ramla, Israel, Aug. 4, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90 via JTA)

This is a developing story.

(JTA) — In a diplomatic breakthrough, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are normalizing ties.

As part of a peace deal brokered by President Donald Trump, Israel will pause its plans to annex areas of the West Bank, according to a joint statement released by the White House.

“Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world. The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that added diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal,” the statement read.

The statement, which referred to the two countries as “two of America’s most reliable and capable regional partners,” said that Israel and the UAE will sign agreements in the coming weeks related to investment, tourism, air travel, security, opening embassies and more. The two nations also will work together on developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, it said.

The Gulf states have been growing closer with Israel in recent years, but the UAE is the first to establish formal ties with the Jewish state. The countries share a goal of countering Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Most Arab countries do not recognize Israel’s existence. The Jewish state currently has ties only with Egypt and Jordan.

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