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Samir Safar-Aly

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Samir Safar-Aly is an Associate in Baker McKenzie's Dubai office.

Signing of the “Al-Ula Declaration” ending trade and other restrictions against Qatar

As reported in our previous client update, on 5 January 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, along with Egypt, signed the “Al-Ula Declaration” at the 41st GCC Summit held in the city of Al-Ula. This marks the end of a three-and-a-half-year boycott against the State of Qatar, which was put in place in June 2017. Although the formal text of the “Al-Ula Declaration” has not been made public, it is clear from public statements made by senior Saudi, UAE, Egyptian, Bahraini and Kuwaiti officials that the instrument paves the way for the reestablishment of political and economic ties between Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt (the Quartet).

On 29 August 2020, the United Arab Emirates (“UAE“) Government’s Emirates New Agency (Wakalat Anba’a al Emarat, or ‘WAM’) publicly announced that H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, issued Federal Decree Law No. 4 of 2020, abolishing Federal Decree Law No. 15 of 1972 Concerning the Arab League Boycott of Israel (the “UAE Israeli Boycott Law“) (the “UAE Israeli Boycott Repeal Law“).  The UAE Israeli Boycott Repeal Law follows the announcement of the historic peace agreement between the UAE and Israel (known as the “UAE-Israel Abraham Accords” – Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization between the UAE and the State of Israel) on 13 August 2020 issued jointly by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Officially signed on 15 September 2020 , the UAE-Israel Abraham Accords (available in full here) outlines a number of areas of intended cooperation, and the establishment of full diplomatic ties in exchange for Israel’s suspension of further annexation of Palestinian territories, between the two states under Article 5 and supplemented in its Annex.  This includes: (1) finance and investment; (2) civil aviation; (3) visas and consular services; (4) innovation, trade and economic relations; (5) healthcare; (6) science, technology and peaceful uses of outer-space; (7) tourism, culture and sport; (8) energy; (9) environment; (10) education; (11) maritime arrangements; (12) telecommunications and post; (13) agriculture and food security; (14) water; and (15) legal cooperation.

On 29 August 2020, the UAE Government’s Emirates New Agency (Wakalat Anba’a al Emarat, or ‘WAM’) publicly announced that H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), issued Federal Decree Law No. 4 of 2020 (the UAE Israeli Boycott Repeal Law), abolishing Federal Decree Law No. 15 of 1972 Concerning the Arab League Boycott of Israel (the Israel Boycott Law). The UAE Israeli Boycott Repeal Law follows the announcement of the historic peace agreement between the UAE and Israel (also known as the UAE-Israel Abraham Accord) on 13 August 2020, issued jointly by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Under the UAE-Israel Abraham Accord, the two states agreed to establish full diplomatic relations in exchange for Israel’s suspension of further annexation of Palestinian territories.

The US Treasury Department and the US State Department have announced two new rounds of sanctions against Syria, including the first designations under the recently-enacted Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act (“Caesar Act”).  The first round, announced on June 17, 2020, resulted in the addition of 39 individuals and entities to…