Palestinians quit Arab League chairmanship over UAE-Bahrain-Israel deal

The Palestinian Authority quit its rotating chairmanship of Arab League meetings, with Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki saying his government no longer wanted the position.

Last month, the Palestinians were unable to persuade the Arab League to condemn member nations that break ranks and normalize relations with Israel.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed deals in Washington on September 15 that normalise ties with Israel, a move the Palestinians view as a blow to their efforts to end the Israeli occupation and achieve an independent state.

“The state of Palestine […] refuses to record in its history the association of its presidency with the regression in values and principles that was evident in the last meeting of the council of foreign ministers,” Maliki told reporters in Ramallah.

After his initial remarks, Maliki read from a letter he said he sent to the Arab League secretary-general, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, informing him of Palestine’s decision and criticizing the UAE and Bahrain.

The UAE’s deal with Israel had “created a deep crisis in the Arab League” and the move was followed “by a similar collapse by the Kingdom of Bahrain,” Maliki said, quoting from the letter.

The UAE and Bahrain’s decision to normalise ties with Israel broke from years of Arab League policy on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Palestinians called the deal a “betrayal.”


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