Outgoing UN peace envoy: Palestinians can gain from Israel’s normalization deals

As he leaves post, Nickolay Mladenov says he sought to mediate through understanding sides’ viewpoints, rather than ‘sit on the sidelines and preach’

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov at a press conference at the UNSCO offices in Gaza City, September 25, 2017. (Adel Hana/AP)

The UN’s outgoing Middle East peace envoy has said the Palestinians could gain from Israel’s normalization agreements with Arab states, potentially strengthening their hand in peace talks.

Nickolay Mladenov, 48, finished his term as United Nations peace envoy this week after serving in the role since 2015. He previously was Bulgaria’s foreign minister and had been set to become the special UN envoy for Libya, but last week said he couldn’t take on the position for “personal and family reasons.”