NEW YORK – 26 October 2020 – During the UN Security Council quarterly Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question, the UAE underscored that the UN Security Council must use the opportunity created by the Peace Accord between the UAE and Israel to break the deadlock in the Middle East Peace Process and resume direct talks between the parties.

The UAE also reiterated its commitment to the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the Quartet road map.

In its written statement to the Security Council, the UAE emphasized that de-escalation, communication channels, and diplomacy are the core pillars to addressing any tensions, as well as any future challenges in the Middle East. The UAE also stressed that the international community must rethink past initiatives to move past stalemate and to create a stable, functioning and prosperous Middle East.

In this regard, the UAE stated: “Despite the current conflicts plaguing the region from Yemen to Syria, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains the core conflict at the heart of our region. In this context, the UAE signed a Peace Accord with Israel on 15 September 2020, under the auspices of the United States. This historic decision responds to repeated calls from the international community, including many countries in this debate today, to maintain the viability of the two-state solution by halting annexation…The UAE firmly believes that this agreement, together with the Declaration of Peace, Cooperation, and Constructive Diplomatic and Friendly Relations concluded by Bahrain and Israel, presents an opportunity for the region to move in the direction of stability and prosperity.”

The UAE urged the international community to be steadfast in its support of the Palestinian people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and reiterated its longstanding commitment to supporting the Palestinian people. The UAE noted that between 2013-2020, it has contributed more than USD 837 million in aid to the Palestinian people and to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Additionally, the UAE stated that during its chairmanship of the Advisory Commission of UNRWA, it will seek to establish a thematic engagement approach to provide assistance set out in the UAE’s aid strategy and align it with the agency’s mandate and medium term strategy 2016-2021.

Furthermore, the UAE said the international community should encourage positive steps that promote peaceful coexistence and interfaith dialogue in the region, particularly between youth in the region, and to build bridges that support mutual understanding and tolerance, and open new avenues for peace. The UAE also stressed that the UN Security Council must be united in addressing any behavior that destabilizes the region and undermines peace efforts. To this end, the UAE stated that it is critical that the Council takes concrete action to address those state actors who seek to destabilize the region by supporting terrorist and extremist groups and who interfere in the internal affairs of Arab states, in violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

The UAE concluded by affirming that it will continue to work with its partners in the region and around the world to address some of the most critical challenges of today. The UAE added, “As an elected member of the Security Council for 2022-2023, the UAE will continue to be a forward-thinking proponent of peace and will maintain its call for unity.”

The UAE also submitted a statement to the Security Council on behalf of the Group of Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to the UN, in its capacity as Chair.