Since the much-anticipated unveiling of the Middle East peace plan by President Donald Trump in January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been planning to annex the West Bank region, which has been criticized by many countries. The UAE’s diplomat to the United States, Yousef al-Otaiba wrote in Israeli newspaper ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’ on Friday and cautioned the Israeli authorities that the annex of the West Bank by Israel would sabotage the advancement made in Israel’s relations with the Arab world.
In his first direct address, Al Otaiba urged attention to the conceivable risk that annexation would post on Israel’s good relations with other Middle Eastern nations, and it will shake the confidence of the region.
His decision to write in an Israeli newspaper was to reach the Israeli public directly, and a controversial one, Al Otaiba concedes. However, utilizing late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s 1977 visit to Jerusalem, for instance, he clarifies that “addressing directly to a people” will guarantee that “your message directly reaches them.”
Al Otaiba rehashed that the UAE stands behind a two-state arrangement with East Jerusalem as the future capital Palestinian state. “We stay a passionate supporter of the Palestinian people and a long-term model of the Arab Peace Initiative, he added.”
Al Otaiba specifically highlighted Jordan in his article, expressing it will send shockwaves around the locale, particularly in Jordan, whose stability is underestimated and which benefits the entire province. A rash decision like annexation could have a huge effect on Jordan.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates don’t share formal diplomatic relations, but recently, a direct Etihad Airways was sent to Israel on May 19, 2020, conveying 14 tons of medical supplies to enable the Palestinians to cope during the growing coronavirus pandemic, though, the Palestinian government dismissed. But surely, it was a step forward to better the relations between the two countries.
This year, Israeli athletes have also participated in tournaments in the UAE, and also took part in Dubai’s 2020 Expo world fair, Al Otaiba stated that such advancements between the two nations would get increasingly difficult if West Bank annexation takes place.