The Middle East will open a new chapter today. For the first time in 26 years, two Arab states and Israel will sign a peace treaty, aimed at paving the way for a forward- looking prosperous and stable region.
The UAE and Israel will formally sign in Washington today the Peace Treaty, which was announced one month ago. Bahrain will also sign a similar peace treaty with Israel. Manama and Tel Aviv announced an agreement to establish diplomatic ties on Friday.
The peace accords certainly are sovereign decisions and within the natural rights of the UAE and Bahrain to establish diplomatic relations with Israel or any other country in accordance with their national interests. However, the accords are meant to be more than that.
The peace accords being signed today represent the beginning of a strategic transformation in the region, based on mutual benefits that will boost development, security and stability of our region
They aim to kick-start the dormant peace process, based on the internationally recognised right of the Palestinian people to their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The UAE has already secured the suspension of Israel’s plan to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank- a diplomatic triumph made possible by the courageous decision by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to initiate this historic move.
Focused on the future
The accords nevertheless mean the region is ready to open a new page that focuses on the future rather than dwell in the past. For 70 years, the Middle East has been plagued by conflict after another.
We have lost millions of lives and massive resources in these conflicts, which led to extreme underdevelopment and poverty in several parts of the Arab world.
The unemployment rate in the region currently is one of the highest in the world. some of the countries depend on financial aid from other states and international organisations to manage their national budgets.
A stable and peaceful region
Nearly 65 per cent of the region’s population is under 35 years of age. They are future oriented youth who prefer to live in a stable and peaceful region, not one that is occupied with past hatred and animosity.
Therefore, the peace accords being signed today represent the beginning of a strategic transformation in the region, based on mutual benefits that will boost development, security and stability of our region.
They will lead to major bilateral and regional investment ventures that will create much needed job opportunities for the youth in the Arab world and the Middle East, especially in vital and innovative sectors such as education, technology, energy, tourism and environment.
The future starts today. For sure. But that doesn’t mean the UAE and Bahrain will end their support for the just and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
This support has always been a key pillar of the UAE foreign policy and will remain so long after today’s ceremony in Washington.