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The PA and the UAE have a long-standing estrangement

10 12 0
20.05.2019

The relations between the Palestinian Authority and the United Arab Emirates are not at their best; the two are almost totally and officially estranged due to their growing differences over various issues. These include the UAE’s growing normalisation with Israel; Abu Dhabi’s support for PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s archenemy, Mohammed Dahlan; and the talk of pressure on the PA by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to accept the US “deal of the century”.

The latest episodes of PA-UAE tension revealed Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Information Minister and spokesman for the Palestinian presidency, violating diplomatic norms last month when he denied knowing Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs by saying that he had never heard of him. His comment was in response to a question by French television regarding the UAE official’s demand for the Palestinians to open up on Arab-Israeli communication.

Abu Rudeineh continued to be harsh towards the UAE, saying that the normalisation campaigns with Israel carried out by some Arab countries (including the UAE, although he did not mention it by name) are violations of the Arab Peace Initiative and resolutions, and are happening under US pressure.

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Saeb Erekat, Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, expressed his own disbelief at Gargash’s demand. He called upon the UAE minister to correct his mistake.

The foreign and international relations advisor to the Palestinian President, Nabil Shaath, kept the pressure up by agreeing with his two colleagues in their attack on the Emirates. He pointed out that the UAE’s hosting of Israel at the Expo 2020 in Dubai was “contrary to the decision of the Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, and contrary to the Palestinian position.” There will be official contact with the UAE on the matter, he added. “We have asked all Arab countries to stop any normalisation with Israel and to abide by the Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for normalisation only after Israel withdraws completely from all of the territories that it occupied in 1967.”

As far as Israel is concerned, the UAE invitation to participate in the exhibition is “another expression of its rising........

© Middle East Monitor