United Arab Emirates State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash said Friday that even though Abu Dhabi has signed a deal to normalize relations with Israel, it still supports ending Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Speaking at a virtual briefing on the sidelines of the equally virtual UN General Assembly’s annual meeting of world leaders, he said the UAE supports the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the two-state solution and disagrees with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government politically.
“We need to open channels of communications because the Arab experience of having no communication with Israel has not really yielded any results,” he remarked.
Gargash said he believes the actions of the UAE and Bahrain “bring a new dynamism” to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
“The Palestinians right now are angry, but I think they will see the benefit in the medium term," he added.
The UAE minister called the Iranian reaction to the normalization deal “very alarming."
He also called Turkey’s opposition to the agreement “pure hypocrisy,” accusing Ankara of “trying to take advantage of the Palestinian plight for narrow regional considerations.” He noted that 550,000 Israelis visited Turkey last year, that the countries do about $3 billion in trade annually, and that Turkey has had an embassy in Israel for decades.
Responding to a question from Asharq Al-Awsat, Gargash said the UAE will be able to help the Palestinians. He noted that the Palestinians enjoyed the “influence” of Arab countries.
The Palestinians were not able to hang on to this influence, he said, stressing that the Palestinians recognized and normalized relations with Israel in 1993.