Erdogan: Turkey may suspend ties with UAE over Israel deal

President says Ankara might pull back its ambassador from Abu Dhabi, after UAE decided to normalise ties with Israel.

Erdogan social media
Turkey has diplomatic and trade ties with Israel, but relations have been strained for years. [AP]

Turkey is considering suspending diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates and withdrawing its ambassador after agreement between the Gulf state and Israel to normalise ties was revealed, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

The Turkish foreign ministry also said history would never forgive the UAE’s “hypocritical behaviour” in agreeing such a deal, which recasts the order of Middle East politics.

Palestinian leaders denounced the announcement as a “stab in the back” to their cause.

“The move against Palestine is not a step that can be stomached. Now, Palestine is either closing or withdrawing its embassy. The same thing is valid for us now,” Erdogan said on Friday.

 “I told him [the foreign minister] we may also take a step in the direction of suspending diplomatic ties with the Abu Dhabi leadership or pulling back our ambassador.”

Under the US-brokered deal, the first between Israel and a Gulf Arab nation, Israel agreed to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank.

The deal makes UAE the third Arab country to establish full relations with Israel, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

‘Hypocritical behaviour’


Turkey’s Foreign Ministry had earlier said Palestinians were right to reject the deal in which the UAE betrayed their cause.

“History and the conscience of the region’s people will not forget and never forgive this hypocritical behaviour,” it said.

“It is extremely worrying that the UAE should, with a unilateral action, try and do away with the [2002] Arab Peace Plan developed by the Arab League.”

Turkey has diplomatic and trade ties with Israel, but relations have been strained for years. In 2010 Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists trying to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Palestinian movement Hamas.

Source: News Agencies