Dr N. Elahi:
Nobody in a sane mind can oppose the overtures and endeavours for peace. It is responsibility of the stake holders to give a safer and peaceful environment to the people and the posterity in their respective countries, in the region and in the world. Abraham Accord is a step in this direction.
Israel-Palestine issue is the most volatile issue of the region, if not the world. Its combustibility has consumed decades of Israel and the Arab countries. They have fought internecine wars and ugly proxy wars over it. Palestinians feel deprived and displaced. The Muslim world is genuinely disturbed over the illegal occupation of their holiest religious places. Israel’s zealousness is not limited to defend itself but aims at annexing more land from the Palestinians. Therefore, the situation is complicated and contentious. War is not the answer. There has to be a beginning of resolution. It is only possible when the parties relax their rigid stances and be ready to give and take.
Track 2 diplomacy is needed to appease Palestinians and to bring other Muslim countries on board for an initiative taken by the UAE to ensure peace in the region.
Dr N Elahi,
President, Centre for Peace and Security Research
The UAE-Israel peace agreement has been reached after prolonged efforts. President Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner played a pivotal role in these rapprochement efforts. The enlightened and broad-minded His Highness Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armrd Fireces, took the risk and made it happen. But it has come to light only recently and created quite a stir, especially among the Muslim countries. The protagonists and antagonists are wielding the swords of statements without giving a chance to a middle ground. It seems that more time should have been given to the idea to bring more countries on-board to give legitimacy and strength to the accord. One-to-one accord, leaving many out of it, can undermine the process. Even the Saudis, who are close to the UAE, might not follow it in foreseeable future.
But, there is no second opinion that the UAE has once again took a bold initiative that sooner or later others will have to follow to ensure peace and prosperity in the region. The UAE has made it clear that the peace treaty with Israel will not be at the expense of the Palestinian cause and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, rightly said at the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting last week that the treaty “includes an Israeli agreement to stop annexing Palestinian lands, which constitutes an important achievement and step towards peace.
The two-state solution is still on the table and it is the only possible way out that takes away the threat of annexation of lands. In my view Track 2 diplomacy is needed to appease Palestinians and to bring other Muslim countries on board for an initiative taken by the UAE to ensure peace in the region.
Dr N. Elahi is President at Lahore-based Centre for Peace and Security Research. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the DNTV’s policy.