David Friedman
David FriedmanYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman talks about the way to the Israel-UAE agreement.

"I think that there were a few things. I mean, the most important is I think they both realized it was in the interests of their respective peoples. They see enormous upside in collaborating and cooperating in all the fields that you mentioned and several more. Obviously they share a common threat within the region, which is the Islamic Republic of Iran, which continues to be a malign influence and the largest state sponsor of terrorism", said Friedman.

He added, "I think that from the perspective of the United Arab Emirates, I think they were encouraged by Israel's agreement back in January to endorse the peace plan that the president endorsed and to actually for the first time in 50-some odd years, to agree to specific territorial dimensions by which they would live side-by-side with a Palestinian state. I think all these things, and I couldn't possibly prioritize the factors, but all these things collectively, I think, created a dynamic for both Israel and the Emirates to become friends".

"I think that the more the Emirates becomes a friend of Israel, becomes a partner with Israel, becomes a regional ally of the United States, I think obviously that that alters the threat assessment and could work out to the Emirates' benefit on that issue".

Friedman also addressed the issue of the application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

"The entire notion of Israeli sovereignty derives from the map that Israel had agreed to, which itself contemplates a Palestinian state living alongside Israel. So it's that peace initiative that where Israel for the first time agreed to live within a Palestinian state that would comprise 70% of Judea and Samaria, plus some additional territory elsewhere. I mean, that is a huge benefit for the Palestinians. And I think it's the agreement between Israel and the Emirates that, frankly, breathes some life into it".
"I don't think the Palestinians should feel betrayed. What the Palestinians should recognize is that in contrast to the old days, they no longer can hold countries hostage from acting in their own self-interests. It's in the interest of the Emirates to make peace with Israel and vice versa".