UAE FM Admits Arab States’ Decision Against Contacts With Israel Was ‘Wrong’

The decision of the Arab states to avoid contacts with Israel, made decades ago, has proved to be a mistake, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said on Thursday.

“Many, many years ago, when there was an Arab decision not to have contact with Israel, that was a very, very wrong decision, looking back […] Because clearly, you have to really dissect and divide between having a political issue and keeping your lines of communication open”, Gargash told the UAE National newspaper.

According to the foreign minister, a “strategic shift” in relations between the Arab states and Israel could happen in coming years, with the contacts expected to increase steadily.

“This conversation will shift because a two-state solution will no longer be feasible because a sort of reduced rump state will no longer be practical […] From the perspective of the UAE, we do need to resolve it, because this issue has this tendency of jumping out of the background when it’s quiet to suddenly becoming headline news”, Gargash said, quoted by the newspaper. 

Israel and the majority of Arab states in the Middle East do not have formal diplomatic relations as most Arab countries support Palestinians’ aspiration to obtain comprehensive international recognition of their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip within the borderlines that existed before the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israeli Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told Sputnik in December that Tel Aviv would continue developing relations with Arab and Muslim countries amid the existence of common problems and threats, including the fight against terrorism and the Iranian problem. Nahshon also said that such rapprochement could help in resolving the Palestinian issue.


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