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UAE FM: Peace Accords Never Undermine Palestinian Rights

Prior to signing a peace agreement with Israel, the UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed, said that the normalization of his country’s relations with Israel is a historic step for progress in the region, noting that progress on Palestinian statehood is also central,.

“The pace and scope of normalization won’t be disconnected from progress on Palestinian statehood and rights,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, hours before he was set to sign a peace treaty with Israel in the White House.

The Emirati Foreign Minister pointed out that “non-Arab extremist” forces dream of fleeting empires that create conflict, explaining that the top priority is to reduce tension in the region and start a peace and security dialogue.

He pointed out that progress in establishing a Palestinian state is vital at this stage, and that the Israeli-Emirati agreement stopped the annexation in the occupied West Bank.

Bin Zayed called on the Palestinian leadership to seize the opportunity to engage in fruitful talks. This comes at a time when the leader of the Israeli opposition, Yair Lapid, confirmed that Netanyahu has “no intention” to hold peace talks with the Palestinians.

On his part, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said that his country’s decision to normalize relations with Israel had broken the psychological barrier and was the way forward for the region. He added that the “very positive” agreement with Israel would help the UAE and the region and increase their influence.

He explained that Israel’s suspension of plans to annex Palestinian lands would put an end to undermining the two-state solution, noting that there is a need for a strategic breakthrough, “but it will not happen overnight.” Gargash emphasized that the signing of the accord does not mean that “the mission is over, but it is the beginning of more stability and economic prosperity.”