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Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed a free-trade agreement Tuesday, a landmark deal that will boost business ties and comes less than two years after both nations normalized relations in a US-brokered deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The agreement will cover 96 percent of bilateral trade between the two Middle Eastern countries, totaling around $1 billion. Officials said the historic deal will extend ties beyond the diamond business – which accounts for more than 50 percent of the two countries’ official bilateral trade – and covers a number of sectors, including food, technology and cosmetics.

They expect trade to increase by more than $10 billion within five years.

Observers explained that the free-trade agreement shows the durability of the Abraham Accords, a series of diplomatic deals in 2020 that normalized relations between Israel and four Muslim countries, including Bahrain and Morocco. The accords are seen as a breakthrough in relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, which have remained strained for decades because of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Negotiations over the trade deal began in November and were finalized in April. Analysts noted that the deal was not particularly affected by the spiking tensions between Israelis and Palestinians recently, amid a series of terrorist attacks in Israel and Israeli military operations in the West Bank.

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