Abraham Accord a roadmap for peace with Palestinians, Israel and US tell UN council

Sudan has became the third Arab government after the UAE and Bahrain to establish relations with Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed. Courtesy MOFAIC
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Israel and the United States on Monday urged the UN Security Council to seize upon recent accords between Israel and Arab states for charting a new course towards Middle East peace.

Kelly Craft and Gilad Erdan, the UN envoys for the US and Israel, said normalisation between Sudan, the UAE and Bahrain and Israel offered a way to end decades-old enmity between Israel and the Palestinians.

While the UN and many governments have welcomed the diplomatic openings, some gave warnings against dropping a long-standing principle that any Israeli-Palestinian peace deal should grant the Palestinians their own independent state.

“Three historic agreements considered impossible to achieve were reached in just two months,” Mr Erdan said in his first address to the council as Israel’s ambassador.

“This council should embrace the accords and use them as a catalyst to promote peace and security in the region ... They disprove preconceived notions of peacemaking in the Middle East, and represent a new progressive, pragmatic approach that is not held hostage by the unrealistic demands of one side.”

At the weekend, Sudan became the third Arab government after the UAE and Bahrain to establish relations with Israel in the past two months, and only the fifth since 1948. Some major political groups in Sudan have since rejected the accord.

Ms Craft urged UN members to “embrace the opportunities presented by the Abraham Accords”, as they are known, and urged Palestinians to re-start talks with Israeli negotiators in line with a US-proposed peace plan.

“Today, because of American leadership, Israel is closer to its Arab neighbours than ever before. And the Palestinians, its direct neighbours, should take advantage of this positive momentum,” Ms Craft said.

“Opening direct ties between these three dynamic societies and advanced economies has incredible potential to transform the region. Normalisation will spur economic growth, enhanced technological innovation, foster interfaith dialogue and forge closer people-to-people relations.”

The Palestinians have rejected the US peace plan. They seek all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem – areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war – for an independent state and the removal of many of the estimated 700,000 Israeli settlers who built homes on those areas.

“You cannot end this conflict without freedom for the Palestinian people,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki told the council. “Our freedom will never be compatible with Israeli soldiers in our streets, Israeli drones in our skies and Israeli control over our borders.”