One has to wonder what the UAE gets out of this. It is clear that it helps Netanyahu, who is gearing up for yet another possible election in Israel. It also helps Trump, who can claim a diplomatic coup, which Joe Biden is unlikely to criticize, ahead of his own reelection vote. (To the contrary, Biden actually welcomed the announcement, without mentioning Trump.) Don’t be surprised if we see more announcements like this from close UAE allies before November. Keep in mind that the UAE has been extremely close to the Trump administration and was among the first and only countries to offer supportive words for his so-called “Muslim ban,” the directive to block travel from a handful of Muslim-majority countries.

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