What the Israel-UAE ties mean to China, Pakistan and Iran?

Fresh news few hours of posting the story: Bahrain has joined the United Arab Emirates in agreeing to normalize relations with Israel, in a US-brokered deal that Palestinian leaders denounced as “another treacherous stab to the Palestinian cause”, reports Al Jazeera a couple of hours ago. 

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, announced the deal on Twitter on Friday after he spoke by phone to Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, adds Al Jazeera.

In a joint statement, the United States, Bahrain and Israel have said that the agreement was reached after Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Friday.

Thus Bahrain is the fourth Arab nation to reach such a deal with Israel after Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE).

N. P. Upadhyaya, Kathmandu: Israel and the United States have promised the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that Jerusalem will not annex parts of the West bank as a guarantee for normalizing relations between the countries, says the Director at the UAE Foreign Ministry Jamal-al-Musharakh, according to the Jerusalem Post dated September 1. 20202.

Jamal added that the UAE “remains with the Arab consensus and resolutions pertaining to the Palestinians and that “we have not backed out even an inch from our position”.

The UAE-Israel ties has now the promise of the US that there would not be any seizure in the West bank.

The other Muslim countries suspect the US guarantee though, mainly Iran.

However, this pledge alone perhaps would not suffice in that the Arab world’s main call is the ‘acceptance’ of the Palestine as a sovereign state.

However, this is missing even in the guarantee provided by US.

Talking to Hashem Ahel Barra of the Al Jazeera TV on September 3, 2020, PM Imran Khan expressed his country’s irrevocable position wherein he says, “Palestinians need justice” and Israel may not give this justice to Palestinians because at the moment, Israel stands more powerful ever with the US strong backing.

Yet the FM of UAE assured the Palestinians that any deal with the Israelis will be attached with the guaranteed support for the Palestinian cause which is the recognition of Palestine as an Independent State.

Talking to the Palestinian community in Abu Dhabi, the FM of UAE Abdullah bin Zayad Al Nahyan said that “UAE will continue to embrace and unswervingly support the Palestinians and their cause”, writes the Gulf News dated September 1st, 2020.

He says that Israel will not annex henceforth.

But will Israel halt the annexation?

In the meanwhile the UAE envoy in Paris, Ali Abdullah Al-Ahmed, September 7, said to the Arab News that “we are convinced this trilateral agreement between the UAE, Israel and the US as a principal actor, especially with the strengthening of the US presence in our region, will contribute in enhancing peace, security and stability in the region.”

When the state of Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced formal relations last month, it was a major symbolic shift in the reigning paradigms about Israel’s place in the region, writes Lahav Harkov for the Jerusalem Post dated August 27, 2020.

However, one security related grand twist is here for the UAE-Israel peace deal.

Ali Abo Rezeg writes for the Turkish News Agency, AA, dated September 2, 20202 wherein he says that  the UAE and the Israeli deal is likely to establish an Israeli-Emirati intelligence-gathering base in the Yemeni island of Socotra which is clearly aimed at monitoring Iran, China and Pakistan, according to political and strategic experts.

This is dangerous indeed.

JForum, the official site of the French-speaking Jewish community in Paris, had revealed earlier that the UAE and Israel are working to establish a spy base in Socotra.

“This Israeli-Emirati spy base presumably aims at monitoring the Iranian activities in the Gulf of Aden and curbing Tehran’s relationship with Houthi rebels,” Ibrahim Fraihat, a professor of international conflict resolution at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, told Anadolu Agency, writes Ali Abo.

“The creation of this base is an additional indicator that the UAE-Israel deal was meant for forging a solid alliance between the two countries not just normalizing bilateral relations”, added Professor Fraihat from Qatar.

The Doha international relations expert Fraihat also believes that the UAE-Israel deal and the much talked spy base will surely keep a penetrating eyes on China’s economic activities under the scanner.

However, several Israeli media outlets dismiss the spy base theory and say that it is just a slander campaign.

The scanner on China will benefit President Donald Trump in its own manner, Fraihat explains hinting at the fact that the creation of the spy base may have been the “design” of the American strategists.

However, the Tribal chief of Socotra has accused the UAE and the boss of the Gulf world-the Saudi Crown prince MBS for having allowed the Israeli State to establish a presence on the Yemeni Soil, reported the TRT world last week.

The Saudis have kept a silence.

The accusations has come through a strong worded statement issued by Issa Salem bin Yaqut, the Chief of tribes in Scotra, who has warned against the undermining of the Yemeni sovereignty on the Island.

The tribal chief, Issa bin believes that the Saudis and the Emirati leaders are “destroying the charming and rare environmental landmarks on Scotra Island by allowing the Israelis to establish camps amid terrible international silence”.

Similarly, South Front-an American website that mainly deals with the military and strategic research reported last weekend the arrival of an Emirati-Israeli delegation to the Island, informs the TRT world dated September 2nd 20202.

To recall, on Aug. 13, 20202, the UAE and Israel had announced a US-brokered agreement to normalize their relations.

Jared Kushner, a near and dear relative of President Trump is behind this so called UAE-Israel peace deal.

Sayed Mohammad Marandi, a political analyst and professor at Tehran University, said talking to the Turkish News agency that “Iran is already surrounded by many US military bases in the region”.

Iran’s surrounding perhaps makes Saudis happy for a variety of political reasons.

However, the Iranian Professor asserts that “Israel has no capability to attack Iran even if they have a joint military base with UAE in Yemen”.

An Indian analyst Haidar Abbas believes that the spy base will also be used to monitor Pakistan in South Asia.

“From now onwards, Socotra Island will neither be of Houthi rebels, nor of UAE or Yemen, but its complete suzerainty will belong to Israel meaning by implication the US,” Haidar Abbas said in an article published in Indian news portal.

This is news.

The Indian analyst claims further that the rapidly changing scenario is altering the world situation as never before, as Pakistan and China, would now be under the Israeli radars”.

This does mean that Pakistan shall be worst affected by the UAE-Israel deal as PM Khan just made clear while talking to Al Jazeera that “Our economic future is now linked to China”.

And China is the likely target of this UAE-Israel ties.

Thus any espionage on China automatically impacts Pakistan’s recovering economy and politics.

By implication, such espionage would sufficiently threaten the security of Iran undoubtedly.

Does this mean that China, Pakistan and Iran are the “real” targets of this UAE-Israel deal with the spy base in Scotra?  Is it a grand design?

And this is what Saudi Arabian rulers internally wished through the Arab Emirates?

This thus provides Pakistan a central role in challenging the spy base theory through its enhanced diplomatic efforts which is to have close diplomatic rapport with the immediate neighbors and beyond. Tentatively, Pakistan is friendly to all these countries and is also a Nuclear State which elevates its prestige.

“If any sabotage is to happen at Gwadar Port then Pakistan and China would blame Israel and Gulf-states equally which would make the ties of Pakistan with Gulf-states strained forever” predicts the Indian analyst Haidar.

Acid test for Pak diplomacy emerges here.

The UAE-Israel deal perhaps is a grand design to destabilize the increasing friendship of China and Pakistan through the CPEC.

In this case and if it is so then Islamabad must open its diplomatic cards from under its sleeves before it is too late.

Eyeing Gwadar and Chabahar ports at a time?  This would then mean that Iran, Pakistan and China are being made the targets?

Tehran will much depend on Pakistan to avert such likely threats.

Moreover, Pakistani leaders should now calculate through diplomatic efforts as to how much damage it may have caused on Pak-Iran-China-Afghanistan ties with the brief stopover of Indian defense minister in Iran just the last week.

The Indian Minister has talked peace in Afghanistan which means that India has spoiled the prospects of Afghani peace for some time more.

And it has now become a must with the India’s noted scoundrel Jay Shankar’s fresh visit to Tehran the other day. He met the Iranian FM.

He is most dangerous for the world peace as PM Modi is.

Okay, let’s bring in India also in the grand picture as it is this country which takes Pakistan and China and may have joined the coalition which has brought UAE and Israel together.

It is here India may have again been seduced by the Saudi prince MBS. 

Just a likely guess work. For, some international relations experts on Middle East opine that the Saudis and the Emirati people fear more from Iran than the Israelis.

It is a fact or just a hoax? Moreover, Indian minister’s dash to Iran may have surely irked Riyadh also, believe analysts.

India has some scores to be settled with Iran as a huge project was awarded to China replacing India. For India this means an enemy in Iran so it may have joined the dictates of those “who may concern”.

But why Raj Nath Singh suddenly landed in Iran? Just for defense related purposes? Or was he carrying Israel’s secret message? Or for talks on the lost Chabahar port?

Can’t be ruled out, claim Nepal’s political pundits who have close eyes on India and the Middle East politics emerging of late.

Similarly, Professor Syed Qandil Abbas of Azam University in Islamabad opines that the deal will have a direct impact on the Middle East, but it can indirectly influence South Asia including Pakistan.

Professor Abbas further opines that since Pakistan’s foreign policy is traditionally India centric and it is already facing critical consequences of the Israel-India strategic partnership.

Prof. Abbas also reveals that the “Israeli military equipment and its commandos are already present in occupied Kashmir”.

He is hinting at the pellet guns being used in Kashmir to tame the dissenters.

This is important revelation indeed.

Meanwhile, Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Chief of the Human Rights Watch, New York has said, September 4, 2020, that “It’s time to ban mettle pellets against the protestors in Kashmir”.

Back to our main topic, when Nepal established diplomatic ties with Israel in the early sixties, India was the country which opposed this diplomatic tie up tooth and nail.

Now for India, Israel is “my darling”.

As a mark of grand protest to the UAE-Israel deal , tens of thousands of Pakistani nationals  marched  last month against a recent “controversial deal” between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel meant to normalize bilateral relations, including opening embassies in each other’s territory.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has already said that his country will not recognize Israel until there is a Palestinian State acceptable to the Palestinians.

Khan made his country’s stance clear while he was talking to a local newsman of the Duniya news wherein he said that “Islamabad will not follow suit in recognizing Israel as a state, in a thinly veiled reference to the United Arab Emirates which struck a United States-brokered deal to normalize ties with Israel, the Aljazeera reported last month. 

During the course of his interview PM Khan further said that “if Pakistan accepted Israel and ignored the oppression of the Palestinians, we will have to give up Kashmir as well then, adding that this was not something Pakistan could do”.

If one were to go deep into what the Pakistan Prime Minister says on Israel during the interview, what could be easily understood by implication is that if and when Israel allows the emergence of a Palestinian State and awards the new State its due recognition then Pakistan may also recognize the state of Israel.

At least this is what this scribe could get from what Prime Minister Khan says and thinks about the Israeli state.

But the Kashmir issue remains as a stumbling block? This means for Pakistan to recognize Israel will take some decades more.

PM Khan made this declaration soon after the UAE and the Israeli State normalized their ties on August 13, 2020.

The Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in his tweet (September 1, 2020) that “the UAE has betrayed the world of Islam, the Arab nations, the region’s countries and Palestine”.

Likewise, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani thinks the UAE-Israel ties as a “huge mistake”.

President Rouhani added that the UAE rulers think that if they approach America and Zionist regime, their security will improve and their economy will grow which is totally wrong.

Iran takes Israel as number one enemy.

Similarly, the Palestinians have not only condemned the UAE-Israel deal but have taken the entire effort as a “back stabbing” act by a major Arab political player. The Saudis stabbed via UAE?

Turkey, the emerging leader of the Muslim world has threatened to suspend the bilateral ties with UAE after the normalization with Israel last month.

All put together, it is in this political crisis that has gripped the Middle East wherein  Pakistan can use its good offices to take control the deteriorated situation. It is an opportunity for the Islamic republic in a way.

Pakistan is the single country in the entire region that has sound and amicable ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrein, Kuwait, Afghanistan, the USA and China.

A matured, upbeat and vibrant foreign policy may lessen the political tensions that have gripped the countries located in this region.

Ambassadors at large (meaning veteran diplomats) could be sent to the Gulf and beyond in order to tackle the crisis which has emerged with the normalizing of the UAE-Israel ties.

A central role is awaiting Islamabad.

Jan Achakzai, a senior political analyst emphatically claims that, “the Palestinian authority has always supported India and in the recent past has recalled its Ambassador from Islamabad who had endorsed the Pakistani views on Kashmir. And hence Pak also need to rebalance the ties with the Palestinian entities”.

And here is a flash news: Israel and the UAE tentatively plan to sign their normalization agreement (having a peace treaty status), at the White House in a few days most likely on September 22, according to Israeli media. President Trump will witness the peace treaty show. Bahrein is the new addition in Israeli list of friends in the Middle East. Israel is strong indeed with the US backing, as said by PM Khan. This is news for those whom it concerns. That’s all.



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