Guterres welcomes Israel-UAE peace deal

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 18, 2019 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 18, 2019. The 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 74) will spotlight climate change in the coming days when leaders gather at the UN headquarters in New York to discuss issues of common concern, Antonio Guterres said Wednesday. (Xinhua/Li Muzi/IANS)

United Nations, Aug 14 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the US-brokered historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), under which Israel will suspend its plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

Thursday’s agreement is something the Secretary-General has consistently called for, Stephane Dujarric, UN chief’s spokesman, in a statement.

“The Secretary-General welcomes this agreement, hoping it will create an opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to re-engage in meaningful negotiations that will realize a two-state solution in line with relevant UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements,” Xinhua news agency quoted Dujarric as saying.

Annexation would effectively close the door for a renewal of negotiations and destroy the prospect of a viable Palestinian state and the two-state solution, it noted.

Peace in the Middle East is more important than ever as the region confronts the grave threats of COVID-19 and radicalization.

The Secretary-General will continue to work with all sides to open further possibilities for dialogue, peace and stability, said the statement.

The agreement on Thursday took place via a phone call between Trump, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE.

As part of the agreement, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in Trump’s vision of peace and focus its efforts now on expanding its ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.

The UAE and Israel will also immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for coronavirus.

According to reports, this is the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.

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