ARAB BREAKTHROUGH: Israel and UAE Sign First Ever Free Trade Agreement

by Micha Gefen

Israel and the UAE signed a comprehensive free trade deal on Tuesday morning. This is the first such deal signed with any Arab country.

The deal took months of negotiations to hammer out and was signed by Israeli Economy and Industry Minister Orna Barbiva and the UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq al Marri.

According to the deal 96% of tariffs will be cut out as well as the streamlining of regulations for trade between Israel and the UAE.

Emirati trade minister Thani Al Zeyoudi said the trade deal wrote “a new chapter in the history of the Middle East.”

“Our agreement will accelerate growth, create jobs and lead to a new era of peace, stability, and prosperity across the region,” he wrote on Twitter.

The UAE also signed a free trade deal this past month with India, which is a clear signal that a trilateral alliance is forming between the three countries. The UAE itself bucked pressure from the USA and as decided to shift economically to Russia.

All of these changes may not force Israel to pivot east just yet, but do point to a changing center of global power that Israel must be aware of.

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