Palestine bid for resolution on UAE-Israel accord fades at Arab League

Arab foreign ministers discussed the proposal at length, but no resolution was adopted on Wednesday

TOPSHOT - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas holds a placard showing maps of (L to R) historical Palestine, the 1947 United Nations partition plan on Palestine, the 1948-1967 borders between the Palestinian territories and Israel, and a map of US President Donald Trump's proposal for a Palestinian state under his new peace plan, as he speaks in the West Bank's Ramallah on September 3, 2020, as he meets by video conference with representatives of Palestinian factions gathered at the Palestinian embassy in Beirut in rare talks on how to respond to such accords and to a Middle East peace plan announced by Washington this year.  / AFP / POOL / Alaa BADARNEH

Palestine again dominated discussions at the Arab League on Wednesday, but the bloc did not agree on a resolution at the first discussion of the recent UAE-Israel accord.

Palestine, which chaired Wednesday’s session, sought a resolution regarding the August 13 UAE-Israel agreement to normalise relations in exchange for halting annexation of Palestinian lands.

Hossam Zaki, the Arab League’s assistant secretary general, said a draft Palestinian resolution on the Abraham Accord was exhaustively discussed in the online meeting, but failed to secure agreement.

“Discussions regarding this point were serious," Mr Zaki said in Cairo. "It was comprehensive and took some time.

"But it did not lead in the end to an agreement about the draft communique that was proposed by the Palestinian side."

The final draft had five key points, focusing on the right of Palestinians to have their own state and the need to respect UN resolutions and international law, and the Arab Peace Initiative.

“Amendments were introduced to the [Palestinian] draft, but at the end, there was an agreement not to adopt a resolution," Mr Zaki said.

The meeting’s final communique made no mention of the UAE-Israel accord, the first of its kind since Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.

Egypt in 1979 signed the first peace treaty between an Arab state and Israel, ending 30 years of conflict between the  neighbours.

The Palestinians were unhappy with the UAE-Israel agreement.

In comments made at Wednesday’s meeting, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki referred to the UAE-Israel accord as a “surprise” and an “earthquake”.

In response, Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told the meeting that the August 13 accord was “an achievement and an important step towards peace from our perspective".

“The deal has created a chance that we firmly believe must be seized and built on,” Dr Gargash said.

He reaffirmed his country’s unwavering support and commitment to the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“The United Arab Emirates has always been committed to supporting the creation of a Palestinian state … as well as backing efforts towards achieving this goal,” he said.

But ultimately, Dr Gargash said, the UAE exercised its sovereign right when it signed the deal.