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Non-Starter

The UAE’s and Bahrain’s accords with Israel could be a be a non-starter
because the small Gulf countries are way outside the war theatre
of the usurper Jewish state and the main Arab world.

By Dr. Moonis Ahmar | October 2020

“As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President Trump with the support of the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s vision for peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.”

Joint statement issued by the U.S, Israel and U.A.E. . after the peace agreement called Abraham Accord.

On August 13, 2020 in the White House, U.S President Donald Trump announced what he termed as a ‘huge breakthrough and historic peace agreement” between Israel and the U.A.E. . which, according to him, will usher a new era of peace in the Middle East. According to the terms of the ‘Abraham’ accord, Israel will suspend further territorial expansion in the occupied West Bank, allowing Muslims to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and keeping holy sites open for worshippers of all faiths. Furthermore, the bilateral agreement between Israel and the U.A.E. will promote investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, environment and the opening of embassies in the respective capitals.

Saudi Arabia as a major Arab country and having close relations with Pakistan has made it clear that it will not grant recognition to Israel unless there is an independent Palestinian state. Pakistan has welcomed the Saudi decision as Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 19 stated that there was no possibility of having diplomatic relations with Israel unless a Palestinian state was established. He also compared Palestine with Kashmir, arguing that recognizing Israel would mean accepting the Indian occupation over Jammu & Kashmir. This means that both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are on the same page as far as the question of recognizing Israel is concerned.

Furthermore, on major foreign policy issues, Saudi Arabia’s role matters for Pakistan as damage control measures were taken by Islamabad when its foreign minister recently expressed his dismay about the OIC not taking notice of human rights violations in occupied Jammu & Kashmir. It is known that the OIC is heavily influenced by Saudi Arabia and it is expected that both on Palestine and Kashmir, both Riyadh and Islamabad will be able to seek consensus.

With barely three months left before the holding of the November 4, 2020 presidential elections in the United States, Donald Trump is desperate to seek achievements in foreign policy and in the domestic arena. While the pandemic crisis and racial polarization seem to have plummeted Trump’s election rating vis-à-vis his opponent Democratic Party presidential nominee Joseph Biden, the only space which he thought he could get was by patronizing a deal between Israel and the U.A.E. . After Egypt and Jordan, U.A.E. is the third Arab country which has reached a peace deal with Israel under the auspices of America.

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The writer is Meritorious Professor of International Relations and former Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Karachi. He can be reached at amoonis@hotmail.com

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