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Palestinian Rights to Guide Pakistan’s Response to U.A.E.-Israel Deal

by Newsweek Pakistan

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In statement, Foreign Office says it remains committed to seeing realization of rights of Palestinian people

Pakistan on Friday said that it’s response to a normalization of ties between Israel and the U.A.E. would be determined by the impact it would have on the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people.

“Pakistan’s approach will be guided by our evaluation of how Palestinians’ rights and aspirations are upheld and how regional peace, security and stability are preserved,” read a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

Noting that the development has “far-reaching implications,” it said that Islamabad was committed to seeing the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination. “Peace and stability in the Middle East region is also Pakistan’s key priority,” it added.

The statement stressed that Pakistan had “consistently supported a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant U.N. and OIC [Organization for Islamic Cooperation] resolutions as well as international law. ”

Controversial deal

On Thursday, the U.S. announced a deal it had brokered between Israel and the U.A.E. under which Israel has agreed to suspend its planned annexation of Palestinian lands in exchange for a normalization of ties with the Gulf state.

A joint statement issued by the three nations said U.S. President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed had “agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.” It added that “as a result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President [Donald] Trump with the support of the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty” over areas of the West Bank that were envisioned in a U.S. plan announced by Trump in January.

The agreement also envisions giving Muslims greater access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem by allowing them to fly from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv.

The U.A.E. is the third Arab country to normalize relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan. There are reports that Saudi Arabia might soon follow, with Trump hinting that other states of the region are ready to normalize ties with Israel.

Pakistan does not officially recognize Israel though there have been multiple reports of secret contacts between the officials of the two countries. Islamabad has long maintained that it would be willing to recognize Israel after a peace agreement has been secured with Palestine.

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