Two-state solution only pathway for peace in Israel-Palestine crisis: Top UAE diplomat

Oct 7 Hamas attack and the Israeli war on Gaza has been a 'major disruption' to the stability and prosperity in the region, Dr Gargash said

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Ashwani Kumar

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Dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President, during his address at the 10th Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate (ADSD). Photo: Supplied
Dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President, during his address at the 10th Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate (ADSD). Photo: Supplied

Published: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 1:03 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 11:07 AM

A political process to achieve the two-state solution is the only pathway to lasting peace and security for people in Palestine and Israel, said Dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the President of the UAE, during an event in Abu Dhabi.

The October 7 attack by Hamas and the Israeli war on Gaza has been a “major disruption” to the “positive momentum” seen in stability and prosperity in the region, Dr Gargash said in his keynote address at the 10th edition of the Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate.

“In a year that had begun to look promising for the region, expectations for stability and prosperity have been profoundly challenged by war in the Gaza Strip,” Dr Gargash said.

“The escalation since the Hamas attack on October 7 and subsequent crisis has thrown the region into yet another significant period of violence and chaos. While the UAE is in the midst of these regional developments and is the sole Arab representative in the UN Security Council, we have tried and continue to help alleviate much of the suffering.”

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Under the theme ‘Tarahum - for Gaza’ campaign, the UAE has been providing relief aid to the Palestinian people impacted by the war in the Gaza Strip.

Dr Gargash underlined the ongoing conflict is “horrific, and represents a profound setback” for the region.

“The unprecedented scale of attacks on Israeli civilians that initiated this crisis represented a serious escalation in the conflict. Nothing can justify attacks targeting civilians. At the same time, we are deeply concerned by the unparalleled response of the Israeli government and military. The disproportionate attack on civilians cannot be justified and adds further fuel to the prospect of greater radicalisation intervention.”

Dr Gargash noted the immediate priority is to continue working hard to achieve a humanitarian ceasefire and substantial relief to address dire conditions in Gaza.

“We must ensure that this war does not spread regionally. And the best guarantee is to end the current violence and hostility as soon as possible.”

Scars to haunt for years

Dr Gargash pointed out the Israel-Hamas war will haunt the people of both countries for years.

“The region has suffered far too much for far too long. Innocent civilians and families on both sides of the divide are being devastated by the ongoing conflict. The recent scars will continue to haunt both communities for many more years. Underlying the current crisis, initiated by the October 7 attack, is a serious failure of the policy of containing the Palestinians. And it would be an epic historical tragedy if we don’t course correct and re-engage politically, on the issue of borders, refugees, and extremism.”

Dr Gargash called for a two-state solution to ensure the end of the ongoing war.

“The only pathway to achieve lasting peace and security for both the Palestinian and Israeli people is through a political process to achieve the two-state solution with an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. This outcome will be in the interest of both Palestinians and Israeli people. Let us hope that out of these violent and tragic events of the past few weeks and continuing, a real commitment to a two-state solution will emerge. This will require the unceasing commitment of the international community.”

Support political process

Dr Gargash pointed out that the US and the international community must back the political process.

“There is no question that this is a critical time for the region, the Palestinian-Israeli people require and deserve stability and prosperity. From the ashes of the disastrous war, we must look beyond the policy of containment, we must ensure that hope is reborn and a return to the political process should be backed collectively by all, but especially by the United States and the international community.”

However, Dr Gargash underlined that the world must not lose sight of global challenges in the form of climate change, and the UN climate conference, which the UAE is going to host.

“COP28 is not only an opportunity to tackle climate change, important though it is. It is also an opportunity to illustrate that leaders can come together and have the political courage and steadfast values to make the compromises necessary to ensure a prosperous and secure future for our children and future generations. This is the kind of leadership needed to tackle climate change. And it is also the kind of leadership required to achieve peace and stability in our region,” Dr Gargash said, and added: “We urge all heads of state and government in their ministers to come to Dubai ready to deliver the progress that the world is expecting to see.

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