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UN lauds Israel-UAE agreement

By HONG XIAO at the United Nations | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-08-14 09:06

The United Nations chief welcomed an agreement reached by the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates on the full normalization of relations, as it halts Israeli annexation plans, will create opportunities for Israeli and Palestinian re-engagement, and will facilitate the realization of a two state-solution.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed to the full normalization of relations, according to a joint statement of the US, Israel and the UAE on Thursday.

A statement posted on the White House website said "this historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the UAE and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region".

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the agreement in a statement drafted by his spokesman on the same day.

He said the joint statement by US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi suspends Israeli annexation plans over parts of the occupied West Bank, something he has consistently called for.

"Annexation would effectively close the door for a renewal of negotiations and destroy the prospect of a viable Palestinian State and the two-State solution," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the secretary-general, said in the statement.

Dujarric said the secretary-general welcomes the agreement, hoping it "will create an opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to re-engage in meaningful negotiations that will realize a two state-solution in line with relevant UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements".

The spokesman said that "peace in the Middle East is more important than ever as the region confronts the grave threats of COVID-19 and radicalization".

He said the secretary-general will continue to work with all sides to open create more opportunities for dialogue, peace and stability.

According to the joint statement, delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies and other areas of mutual benefit.

"Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East's most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations," it said.

Trump later told reporters at the White House that Israel and the UAE would have an official signing ceremony at the White House in the next few weeks, according to the Xinhua.

As a result of the diplomatic breakthrough, the statement said, "Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the president's vision for peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world."

The statement said the UAE and Israel will immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

"Working together, these efforts will help save Muslim, Jewish, and Christian lives throughout the region," it said.

The announcement makes the UAE the first Gulf Arab state and only the third Arab nation, after Egypt and Jordan, to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.

Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States, said that the announcement "immediately stops annexation and the potential of violent escalation. It maintains the viability of a two-state solution as endorsed by the Arab League and international community."

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