Israeli arrogance must end: UAE diplomat on Palestinian crisis

Dr Anwar was speaking at the closing session of the Arab Strategy Forum that took place in Dubai on Wednesday


Nasreen Abdulla

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KT Photo: Nasreen Abdulla
KT Photo: Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Wed 3 Jan 2024, 9:29 PM

Last updated: Thu 4 Jan 2024, 1:29 PM

A veteran Emirati diplomat did not mince words as he called for a united stance against Israel’s "arrogance" in the "unethical and inhumane attack" on Gaza.

“We have to find a political way to end the Israeli occupation, while standing in the face of its arrogance and addressing its actions in Gaza,” said Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President.

Addressing the Arab Strategy Forum in Dubai on Wednesday, he reiterated the UAE's solidarity with Gaza.

"I believe we have two simultaneous missions here: To express solidarity with the Palestinian people and their cause, in parallel with our future outlook."

The UAE leadership is "well aware" of the events and issues surrounding the region. “With this wisdom and awareness, the UAE is attempting to manage the current crises, mainly the war in Gaza, while having another mission to improve education and strengthen the economy,” he said. “What has been achieved in the UAE over the past years shows clearly that we have never stopped, because the world will not wait for us until we are done solving our problems. We must keep pace with the events around us.”

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Dr Gargash added that one of the challenges that Arab countries are dealing with, is an internal battle. “There are calls to marginalise the Arab national state and the Arab regimes for the interest of militias,” he said. “The national state needs to be active in various issues, such as Gaza and Sudan and others, in order to convince the Arab public that the official regime has its tools and influence.”

Unity in the Arab world

Speaking alongside him, Prince Turki Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, said that the most important thing was for the Arab world to remain united in order to attain lasting peace in the region.

“If our position in the region is strong enough, the relations between other countries will not affect us,” he said, on being asked about the growing closeness between USA, Israel and Iran. “Any failure is a failure of all Arab countries because we, as an Arab World, failed to have a strong bond that shields us from such risks. Even among Palestinian, there shouldn’t be differences. We can only overcome this if we remain united.”

Nabil Fahmy, former Egyptian Foreign minister, supported this and called on Arab nations to never depend on anyone else. “The hegemony of power is now separate from all international laws,” he said. “We should never count on others to come to our rescue. We need to build our own capabilities and international cooperation. To depend on one power and expecting them to bail us out is wrong.”

UAE’s role in regional peace

Meanwhile, other speakers at the event opined that the UAE could play a very influential role in ensuring that there is lasting peace in the region. “The vision of what role the Arab nations want to play in this world is being developed right here in the United Arab Emirates, along with Saudi Arabia,” said Parag Khanna, Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap. “There is a clear understanding that is coming into place. If the confidence the Gulf state now have would have existed 20 or 30 years ago, the outcome of the Palestine issue would have been very different.”

The UAE has been a vocal supporter of the Palestine cause, drafting a ceasefire resolution at the UN and sending aid to the besieged Gaza strip since the latest Israeli offensive began in October.


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