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The Israeli cabinet unanimously approved on Monday the U.S.-brokered peace treaty with the United Arab Emirates, signed at the White House last month, and decided to bring it to a vote in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, later this week.
Why it matters: The Israeli government wants Thursday's vote to grant the treaty the same status as similar agreements with Egypt and Jordan — and to make it clear it has broad support in parliament, which represents the Israeli people.
The state of play: Over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone with Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ), the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the UAE's de-facto ruler, to update him on the coming votes.
- It was the first public phone call between the two leaders since the trilateral phone call with President Trump on Aug. 13 — after which the normalization deal was announced.
What they're saying: Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting that he and MBZ agreed to meet soon, with invitations to visit their respective countries. However, the Emirati statement didn't mention a possible meeting between the leaders.
- Netanyahu added more that Arab countries want to make peace with Israel because they see how it confronts Iran and understand it can be an essential ally.
- "I have no doubt we will see agreements with more Arab and Muslim countries soon," Netanyahu stressed.
What’s next: A senior delegation from the UAE is expected to arrive in Israel next week, Israeli officials say. It will include finance and economy ministers as well as other senior officials.
- The aim of the visit is to continue drafting bilateral side agreements on visas, the opening of embassies, trade and investments, civil aviation and tourism.
- It is possible that White House officials will arrive in Israel next week to join the talks.
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