UAE ambassador: ‘Abraham Accords were about preventing annexation’

Envoy also confirms Netanyahu trip to Abu Dhabi next week, says bad blood between Emiratis and Palestinians can be overcome with show of good faith from Ramallah

UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba speaks on a Zoom panel organized by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on February 1, 2021. (Screen capture/YouTube)

The United Arab Emirates ambassador to the US said Monday that the normalization agreement his country signed with Israel in September was primarily “about preventing annexation.”

Yousef al-Otaiba said that while many had sought to cast the agreement in different lights to suit their own narrative, for him it was mostly about stopping Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial plan to extend Israeli sovereignty to large parts of the West Bank.

“When the Abraham Accords were announced, everybody… looked at [it] through their own lens,” said al-Otaiba, explaining that both the Palestinians and the Iranians thought the normalization deal was meant as a message to their respective governments.

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