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Aug 13, 2020
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UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash on Establishment of Israel-UAE Relations: We Are Protecting the Chances for a Two-State Solution

#8213 | 03:21
Source: Abu Dhabi TVAl-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)Al-Hurra TV (The U.S.)

Dr. Anwar Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said in an August 13, 2020 interview on Al-Arabiya Network (Saudi Arabia) that the "right moment" and "optimal time" to act regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will never arrive. He said that the UAE's recent formal establishment of relations with Israel was done in order to prevent Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank. In an August 15, 2020 interview on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.), he said that the establishment of UAE-Israel relations is meant to provide space for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians surrounding a two-state solution. He also said that he hopes that the newly-established relations with Israel will lead to tourism, economic investments, and embassies. In an August 13 interview on Abu Dhabi TV (UAE), Dr. Gargash said that Israel already has official relations with Egypt and Jordan, as well as unofficial relations with other Arab countries. He added that the UAE decided to openly establish relations with Israel because it believes that transparency is its best currency.

 

Dr. Anwar Gargash: "How I wish things were better right now. How I wish we did not have a civil war in Syria. How I wish we did not have such crises in Lebanon. How I wish we did not have an Arab crisis in Libya or in Yemen. But as you know, this is the reality we Arabs are facing, and if we kept waiting for the right moment... History tells us that the geography and the reality on the ground in Palestine is [constantly] changing, and what could be achieved in the past cannot be achieved today, and unless we remove the danger of the annexation of Palestinian lands – [which endangers] the chances of a two-state solution – the annexation will take place and a new situation will be created, and consequently, things will be more difficult. In this region's history, there is no such thing as an optimal moment.

[...]

"We must understand that we are disarming a fuse, and not solving the problem. These are two different things. The UAE has disarmed the fuse of the crisis that the two-state solution as facing, due to the facts on the ground. The history of the Palestinian-Israeli and the Arab-Israeli struggle is, unfortunately, a history of establishing immutable facts on the ground. In my estimation, what we accomplished is providing the space for the return of direct negotiations based on the two-state solution. However, the question of reaching a solution is in the hands of the Palestinians and the Israelis.

[...]

"We hope to establish normal relations. Normal relations include visits, tourists... Mutual establishment of embassies... It includes investments and mutual establishment of embassies. I believe that we should look at it from this perspective. Sometimes, we find these kind of phrases [like normalization] strange, because there are historical residues from the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, today, Israeli has official relations with Egypt and Jordan, and conducts unofficial relations with many countries in the region, among them Arab countries. The UAE took this decision... We could have done the same thing [and conduct unofficial relations with Israel]. Yet we decided that our transparency is our best currency."

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