Monday 06 July 2020

Amid warming to Israel, UAE urges halt to annexation plans

A minister of the United Arab Emirates has urged Israel to stop its plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, warning of a serious setback for the so-called West Asia peace process.

According to Press TV, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said in a tweet on Monday "Continued Israeli talk of annexing Palestinian lands must stop."

"Any unilateral Israeli move will be a serious setback for the peace process, undermine Palestinian self-determination & constitute a rejection of the international & Arab consensus towards stability & peace," he added.

Gargash’s remarks come while the UAE and other Persian Gulf Arab states largely voiced support for US President Donald Trump’s controversial plan on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Israeli regime’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley have been envisaged in Trump’s so-called "deal of the century" which the Palestinians have rejected.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would start plans for annexing more areas in the occupied West Bank on July 1, in accordance with Trump’s scheme, further infuriating Palestinians.

Israel and the UAE do not have formal diplomatic relations, but have long had clandestine contacts, according to many reports.

In recent years, the UAE — along with other Persian Gulf Arab states — has made several overt moves for warmer ties with the Tel Aviv regime, including letting in Israeli athletes and officials.

Last year, Israel's former Foreign Minister Israel Katz visited Abu Dhabi. A year earlier, the regime’s sports minister flew to the UAE capital where she went on a public tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

The American president officially unveiled his scheme in January at the White House with Netanyahu on his side, while Palestinian representatives were not invited.

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