UAE’s Gargash says move will help Palestinian statehood bid

Annexation was a deeply worrying step for all the world’s states, UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash says to Sky News Arabia. He denies that plans to set a road map for cooperation and normalization between Israel and the UAE will hamper the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Freezing Israeli annexation will be a revival of the peace process,” Gargash says, adding “we have always said that the political solution is in the hands of Palestinians and Israelis, and there must be a return to the negotiating table.”

Asked about the idea for the agreement, Gargash says it came about in the aftermath of Israel’s announced intention to annex parts of the West Bank.

“An idea began to develop for a kind of political agreement. It continued to develop following American insistence and follow-up. The idea was that Israel would abide by freezing annexation, and we would agree to develop normal relations,” Gargash says.

Asked how the Palestinians will benefit from UAE-Israel normalization, Gargash says they could learn by example.

“Our advice to the Palestinians has always be to remain in contact and keep communication channels open. Right now, the Palestinian people are seeing very difficult days — proving that communication is better than disconnection,” Gargash says.

— Aaron Boxerman

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