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UAE, Israel normalisation saved two-state solution, Emirati envoy says

Yousef Al Otaiba, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador to the U.S., speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Tuesday, 30 April 2019. [Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Yousef Al-Otaiba, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador to the US in California, US on 30 April 2019 [Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

The UAE Ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, said the normalisation agreement signed between his country and Israel has saved the two-state solution.

Speaking at an event organised by the Woodrow Wilson International Centre in Washington, Al-Otaiba said: "If the Abraham Accords had not occurred, we would not have talked about the possible two-state solution. I will be very frank. I think we are saving the two-state solution."

"Let me remind you that when Egypt made peace with Israel, there were no concessions to the Palestinians, and when Jordan concluded peace with Israel, there were no concessions to the Palestinians," the Emirati diplomat said, adding that "perhaps this is the greatest advantage that has been achieved for the Palestinian cause in the past twenty years."

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Al-Otaiba responded to criticism that normalisation agreements do not serve the Palestinian cause; saying the UAE foreign minister spoke with his Israeli counterpart six times during the recent Gaza operation, and in every phone call he urged Israel to accept the Egyptian ceasefire proposal.

"I think the Abraham Accords can be useful, and can provide words of wisdom and advice, but in the end the two countries will come to decide that the two-state solution is in their interests, not only ours," he added.

The UAE and Bahrain signed a normalisation agreement with the occupation state of Israel one year ago in Washington.

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