Abraham Accords not an alternative to solving Arab-Israeli conflict, UAE minister says

The two sides must work together to reach a peaceful solution

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, June 18, 2019.  16th Session of the Arab-Chinese cooperation forum held at the Etihad Towers, Corniche.  --  HE Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Director of the Department of International Organizations at the Foreign Ministry and Assistant Minister of Political Affairs.
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Reporter:  John Dennehy
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The Arab-Israeli conflict can only be solved by the two sides working together to reach a peaceful solution, and the Abraham Accords should not be considered as a substitute to the process, a UAE minister said on Sunday.

“The Accords is not an alternative to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict," Khalifa Al Marar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, told a panel at the Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate.

"This solution did not presume that. The main parties should work on solving the conflict according to the known parameters to state solutions."

Last year, the UAE signed a deal that formally established ties with Israel, which was seen as one of the most significant breakthroughs in the Middle East peace process.

"The Accords has come at a very important point in the Arab-Israeli conflict and the trajectory of the peace process,” Mr Al Marar said. "It will not change the demands and the outstanding issues related to the Israel-Palestinian issues.”

The UAE remains committed to the Arab plan of a negotiated two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

He also said that the Abraham Accords is a relationship between the UAE and Israel and not against any party.

"Our demand is to cease this conflict and we need to build human capabilities and peace," he said. "Especially in what it can provide for stability that will serve solutions to end the conflict."

In return for normalising ties, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to suspend his plan to annex parts of the West Bank.

Mr Al Marar said the UAE is in "a better stance and position to contribute towards the Middle East's peace process, there are vast possibilities in all fields and we can say the Abraham Accord has activities in all fields."

This will benefit all sides in the region, he said.

Shortly after the announcement in August last year, Bahrain joined the UAE's efforts to formally establish ties with Israel.

The Abraham Accords was formally signed between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain in Washington on September 15, 2020, opening the door for diplomatic, trade, travel and business ties between them.

The UAE and Israel opened their respective embassies in the past year, formalising their commitment to peace in the region.

Morocco and Sudan have also since normalised ties with Israel.

Jordan and Egypt have shown interest to help "improve" relations between the Palestinians and Israelis, Mr Al Marar said.

The minister said the UAE's foreign policy will continue to focus on good neighborly relations to build stability at the regional level.

"We seek to mitigate tension and escalation in the region and will also try to find solutions to the crises and find development solutions,” he said.

The UAE does not believe in using force as a tool of foreign policy and to interfere in any countries’ internal affairs, he said, adding that the UAE has always been part of international coalitions dealing with conflicts.

Highlighting the achievements of the UAE’s 50 years of federation, Mr Al Marar said the country's leadership has always focused on human capital.

“The last 50 years has been the story of accomplishments in all fields from a modern state to building a federal structure and developing a diversified economy.”

He said that the UAE has consecrated values of tolerance, which has enabled it to play a role in the regional and international fields.

For the next 50 years, the UAE government has announced 10 principles, he said.

"This will address comprehensive development, where developing the human capability lies at the core," he said. "Digitalization, technology, and sciences are the main tools to achieve the main principles of these developments."

Updated: November 14, 2021, 4:08 PM