Former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has voiced support for the accord between Israel and two Gulf states, saying it can tackle mistrust in a volatile region.
Mr Ban, a South Korean diplomat who led the world body from 2007 to 2016, praised Israel’s normalisation of ties with Bahrain and the UAE in an opinion article that was published during the annual UN assembly on Wednesday.
“The recent establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and two Gulf countries … is a significant political development that I hope can help overcome decades of estrangement and mistrust,” Mr Ban wrote.
“I still believe that the only way to achieve true normalisation between Israel and the Arab world is for all parties to work towards a durable, two-state solution that delivers peace, justice, dignity and security to Palestinians and Israelis alike.”
Israeli, Emirati and Bahraini officials signed the accord on the White House lawn this month, securing an Israeli pledge to not annex Palestinian land and opening the door to business and tourism opportunities.
Mr Ban, now a member of The Elders group of veteran statesmen, urged the UN’s 193 members to try harder to co-operate against Covid-19 and put “common priorities” above “narrow national interests".
The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, called the accord a historic move.
"There is no reason why we cannot move faster and establish embassies and consulates very soon,” Dr Gargash said.