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Top UAE Diplomat Suggests Cooperation with Israel to Continue Despite Annexation
Anwar Gargash (Wikimedia Commons)

Top UAE Diplomat Suggests Cooperation with Israel to Continue Despite Annexation

The United Arab Emirates’ top diplomat has called for continued development of relations with Israel despite the Jewish state’s possible annexation of parts of the West Bank in accordance with the Trump Administration’s Middle East peace plan. Addressing the American Jewish Committee Virtual Global Forum, Anwar Gargash said that Abu Dhabi was seeking to decouple differences over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from bilateral cooperation in fields such as science and technology. He advocated for maintaining “open lines of communication” with Jerusalem while emphasizing that decades of animosity between Israel and Arab countries had set the region back. “Can I have a political disagreement with Israel, but at the same time, try and bridge other areas? I think I can,” Gargash insisted. “The UAE is clearly against any annexation as being proposed by the current Israeli government,” he elaborated. “Having said that, that is the political domain. Do I have to look at all the other domains and make them basically static because of the political domain? I think we’ve tried that over many years … and I don’t think it has really led to what we want in terms of bringing stability.” Gargash’s comments came just days after Abu Dhabi’s ambassador to Washington published an unprecedented Hebrew op-ed in a leading Israeli newspaper in which he stressed that annexation would “certainly and immediately upend Israeli aspirations for improved security, economic and cultural ties with the Arab world and with UAE.”

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