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Palestinians and Israelis have hope to work for two-state solution: UAE FM

Palestinians and Israelis have hope to work for two-state solution: UAE FM

Oct 07, 2020

Abu Dhabi (UAE) Oct 7: Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the Middle East entered a new era towards security and prosperity after the signing of the Abraham Accords peace agreement on September 15, which marked the commencement of bilateral relations between the UAE and Israel. "The accord is in line with UAE's vision for a stable, future-oriented, and moderate region that prioritises youth, co-existence, and peace and prosperity," he said.
Sheikh Abdullah said the accord inverts traditional thinking about the means to address the region's problems and challenges, focusing on pragmatic steps that have tangible outcomes. "It also carries with it the promise of building new bridges that will serve to de-escalate existing conflicts and prevent future ones."
Sheikh Abdullah made the remarks in a joint statement in Berlin on Tuesday with Heiko Maas, Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Gabi Ashkenazi, Foreign Minister of the State of Israel.
"First of all, I would like to thank my friend Heiko Maas for our fruitful and constructive discussions today, and for hosting my first meeting with my new friend Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. Three decades ago, history was made, as the people of Germany united the city of Berlin. And here we are today; making history, once again in Berlin," Sheikh Abdullah said at the start of his address.
"The Middle East entered a new era towards security and prosperity after the signing of the Abraham Accords peace agreement on 15 September, which marked the commencement of bilateral relations between the UAE and Israel. The accord is in line with UAE's vision for a stable, future-oriented, and moderate region that prioritises youth, co-existence, and peace and prosperity.
"The accord inverts traditional thinking about the means to address the region's problems and challenges, focusing on pragmatic steps that have tangible outcomes. It also carries with it the promise of building new bridges that will serve to de-escalate existing conflicts and prevent future ones," the UAE top diplomat added.
Sheikh Abdullah continued: "We are also looking forward to the many new pathways of cooperation, peacemaking, and economic opportunity that this accord opens in the region. Together, we will look to leverage world-leading research and development capacities to meet the needs of current and future generations.
"In this context, I would like to emphasise that there are opportunities to expand our cooperation and engagement in a range of different sectors such as food security, energy, technology, tourism, education, health care and services. To maximise the global benefits of our cooperation, the UAE, Germany, and Israel are committed to exploring collective activities in multilateral settings and coordinating with international institutes and the private sector to enhance international investment in research and development.
He added: "Today, I reviewed with my colleague, Gabi Ashkenazi, a set of proposals and ideas, atop of which was cooperation in the field of energy and Fourth Industrial Revolution out of belief that cooperation in R&D could be a step forward toward a more stable, integrated and prosperous Middle East.
"Acknowledging our optimism pertaining to tangible benefits in this field, the UAE, Germany, and Israel agree to encourage greater coordination in the energy sector and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Recognising that collaboration in research and development can be a step toward a more stable, integrated, and prosperous Middle East, the UAE, Germany, and Israel support the development of a strategic vision for a partnership that drives innovation and prosperity for our people."
He noted: "We also believe that the UAE, Germany, and Israel share a common interest in safeguarding tolerance and diversity at home, as well as in promoting pluralism and moderation in the region. In October 2021, the UAE will welcome the world's fair, Expo 2020 Dubai, to help shape a post-pandemic world and create a better future for all.
"In addition to our three countries' growing relations, we share a deep concern regarding the threat that terrorism and extremism pose to our countries and the world. We must not compromise with terrorism, as we must also not compromise with extremism and hatred, in all its forms.
"The UAE, Germany, and Israel also share a common interest in regional stability and in a peaceful and cooperative international system. In this context, we reiterate our support for regional stability and our commitment to cooperate closely in order to address some of the region's most intractable issues."
Concluding, Sheikh Abdullah said: "Finally, and most importantly, we must re-emphasise today, the return of hope to the Palestinians and Israelis to work towards a two-state solution, and a brighter future for the children of the region."
For his part, the Israeli Foreign Minister thanked the UAE for the courage, vision and peace-oriented efforts. "The peace accord brings in hope and opportunities for the citizens of the two countries. It also brings in peace in the Middle East and contributes to establishing stability and confronting common challenges, atop of which come Covid-19," he added "I am very happy for meeting my friend Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed after a lot of dialogues and conversations. I feel we are building up a relationship of friendship and I am certain our coming meetings will cover several other issues."
He added that they had paid a historic visit to the Holocaust Memorial, and its museum in Berlin, which, he said, was an important thing for him as he was one of the survivors of the Holocaust which killed six million Jews.
"Our presence in this place ushers in a new era for peace, growth, and hope. We will be seeing Emiratis coming in to visit Israel and all holy sites freely. We are also looking forward to seeing our Israeli citizens going to visit the UAE," he noted.
He described the talks with Sheikh Abdullah as positive and conducive to developing frameworks for bilateral relations and future cooperation.
"A just peace can be achieved through courage and respect," he said, calling upon Palestinians to return back to the negotiating table. "Only through negotiations we can resolve conflicts and the more we delay this, the tougher will be the realities we will leave for coming generations."
The joint statement started with a speech by the German foreign minister Maas, where he welcomed the meeting and talks between the UAE and Israeli foreign ministers to review the articles of the peace accord signed by the two countries.
He described the peace accord by the UAE and Israel as the "first good news from the Mideast in a long time" that is likely to contribute to establishing stability in the region.
Source: Khaleej Times