After striking ‘historic’ deal with Israel, UAE says did so to stop ‘further annexation of Palestine’

Srinagar: Urging the Palestinians and Israelis to return to the negotiating table, The United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said that an agreement with Israel to normalize relations was done to deal with the threat that further annexation of Palestinian territories posed to the two-state solution.

Quoting a Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, a report by news agency PTI, said that a US-brokered deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates represented a “historic day” for his country.

The report added that agreement, announced by US President Donald Trump, broke new ground in Israel’s outreach to Gulf Arab countries with a common fear of Iran’s regional influence.

Quoting officials of White House, the report said that Israel’s agreement to suspend de facto annexation of parts of the “occupied West Bank” posed a measure of political risk at home for Netanyahu, who had pledged to carry out the step.

“I will make a special announcement at 8 pm (1700 GMT) with more details about this historic day for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.

His office had previously said he would hold a news conference at 1600 GMT.

According to the report, a senior Israeli official said applying Israeli sovereignty to areas of the West Bank – territory Palestinians seek for a state along with Gaza and East Jerusalem – was still on the agenda.

But the official quoted by the news report said: “The Trump administration asked us to temporarily suspend the (sovereignty) announcement so that the historic peace agreement with the UAE can be implemented.”

Terming its deal to normalize relations with Israel was “a bold step,” the United Arab Emirates said that it is to secure a two-state solution to the long-running Israel-Palestinian conflict.

“Most countries will see this as a bold step to secure a two-state solution, allowing time for negotiations,” the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told a press conference.

During the conference, when asked when the two countries will open embassies, he said he did not want to speculate on the timeframe “but it is definitely not a long time.”


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