UAE minister: Israeli sovereignty move could lead to call for one state

UAE minister of state for foreign affairs: If we lose the possibility of a two-state solution, we will really be talking one state.

Elad Benari ,

Anwar Gargash
Anwar Gargash

Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirates’ minister of state for foreign affairs, warned on Wednesday that Israel’s planned application of sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria could lead Arab states to call for a single bi-national state for Israelis and Palestinians.

Speaking at the Washington-based Middle East Institute and quoted by The Associated Press, Gargash said that his country is committed to dialog and the two-state solution to the decades-long conflict.

He added that “ultimately, I personally believe that if we are going where we are going today, and we lose the possibility of really implementing a two-state solution, we will really be talking about equal rights and one state.”

On Tuesday, Gargash told the American Jewish Committee that “the UAE is clearly against any annexation as being proposed by the current Israeli government.”

At the same time, he also said that it is possible to cooperate with Israel on some issues. Gargash made clear that the UAE is part of the Arab consensus that supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Gargash’s comments on sovereignty come after UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed recently said he was concerned about the new government's plans to "annex" parts of Judea and Samaria and that he was opposed to them.

"One-sided annexation in the West Bank of Israel would violate international law and would severely impair international efforts to achieve a political settlement in the Middle East," he warned last month.

Last Friday, Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the United States, published an op-ed in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper in which he urged Israel to abandon the sovereignty plans.