Anwar Gargash. (Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

UAE Official Endorses Better Relations between Arab States, Israel

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Thursday that the original decision by Arab states to shun Israel complicated attempts to find a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Many, many years ago, when there was an Arab decision not to have contact with Israel, that was a very, very wrong decision, looking back,” Dr. Gargash told the Abu Dhabi-based daily The National. “What we are facing if we continue on the current trajectory… will really be about equal rights in one state,” he warned, explaining that this forecast would likely lead to a “strategic shift” in conversation to preserve a two-state solution. His candid comments came days after the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states condemned US President Donald Trump’s formal recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in the 1967 war and annexed by Israel in 1981. They also followed a visit to the Gulf in February by Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, to garner support for the economic portion for the highly-anticipated American peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians, dubbed by some as “the deal of the century.”

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