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‘History won’t forgive this hypocritical behaviour’: Erdogan says Turkey may suspend ties with UAE over Israel deal

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said Ankara is considering suspension of diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over its decision to normalise ties with Israel.

Erdogan said Turkey may even withdraw its ambassador from UAE for its accord, brokered by US President Donald Trump, to normalise relations with the Jewish nation.

“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.

Erdogan said he has given orders to his foreign minister in this regard.

“I told him we may also take a step in the direction of suspending diplomatic ties with the Abu Dhabi leadership or pulling back our ambassador,” he told reporters after Friday prayers. As part of the deal with UAE, Israel agreed to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank in return of full normalisation of relations with the Gulf nation.

This makes UAE only the third Arab nation, after Egypt and Jordan, to have normal diplomatic ties with Israel. It is worth mentioning that Turkey already has diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv and was among the first Muslim nation to recognise Israel.

However, Turkey’s relationship with Israel souring over the last few years, it has reacted angrily to the UAE decision, with its foreign ministry saying that history would never forgive the UAE’s “hypocritical behaviour” in agreeing such a deal.

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