Britain backs Abraham Accord to boost reconciliation efforts

James Cleverly tells Anwar Gargash of London's backing for historic agreement

Britain's Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, October 18, 2019.  REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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Britain welcomed the Abraham Accord between the UAE and Israel as a step towards regional stability.

Talks between Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and his London counterpart James Cleverly, the Middle East minister at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office focused on the impact of the agreement.

Mr Cleverly said the government viewed the accord as a historic step.

"I welcomed the accord between the UAE and Israel in a call with my friend [and] Emirati ministerial counterpart," Mr Cleverly said after the phone call.

Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash speaks to journalists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, June 18, 2018. The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition fighting against Shiite rebels for control of Yemen's port city of Hodeida. Gargash said Monday that the battle for Hodeida is aimed at forcing the country’s Shiite rebels into negotiating an end to a yearslong war. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

The Conservative minister said the talks also encompassed a range of other shared bilateral concerns.

"|The UK is working with the UAE to tackle global issues, from security to climate change," he said.

The discussions came after the UK leadership held talks with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner in London following his visit to the countries involved in the accord last week.

The UK Foreign Office said the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had given his views on how to restart progress towards a two-state solution. Mr Kushner was also given the opportunity to brief Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“The Foreign Secretary updated Mr Kushner on his recent visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and his encouragement of a return to co-operation between the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships, as a first step on the road to a renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace process," the Foreign Office said. "The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary were clear about their commitment to a negotiated two-state solution."

Senior Advisor to the US President, Jared Kushner reacts as he leaves after meeting with Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in central London on September 3, 2020. / AFP / Tolga AKMEN

Mr Raab spoke on the trip about London's opposition to annexation. During his meetings with the Palestinian leadership he asked for a resumption of co-operation and direct negotiations with Israel to secure a two-state solution.

“Israel’s suspension of annexation is an essential step towards a more peaceful Middle East. It is important to build on this new dynamic, and ultimately only the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority can negotiate the two-state solution required to secure lasting peace.”