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EU welcomes UAE-Israel agreement and is "ready to work"

Europe has said it welcomes the deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel announced on Thursday and is ready to work with both countries going forward.

Speaking to AP, Nabila Massrali, European Commission spokesperson, said: "The normalization will be at the benefit of both, it is important for both and the regional stability.

The deal, which was brokered by U.S. President Donald Trump's White House, will lead to greater cooperation on tourism, security, education, technology and energy.

It is also expected to halt the Israeli annexation of swathes of the Palestinian West Bank, although it is not clear for how long. In her comment, Massrali said that the EU was still committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Commenting on the effect on annexation, the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote on Twitter:

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meanwhile called the opening of diplomatic ties between the two countries a "fabricated play".

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