In a blow to the Palestinians, the Arab League on Wednesday refused to vote in favor of a resolution condemning the normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates at its annual summit.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said:
This meeting must release a decision rejecting this step. Otherwise, we will be seen as giving it our blessing, or conspiring with it, or attempting to cover it up.
However, following a three-hour debate, Arab countries’ “lack of agreement” over the Palestinian issue was not resolved, senior Arab League official Hussam Zaki said in a translation of his remarks by the Times of Israel.
“Of course, discussion around this point was serious and comprehensive. But it did not lead to agreement over the resolution proposed by the Palestinians,” Zaki said.
“A number of amendments were proposed, and then counter-amendments… and we were at a point in which Palestinian demands had not been realized, and the Palestinians preferred it not to pass rather than have it pass in a manner which they believed to be inadequate,” Zaki added.
According to the PA’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League, Muhannad Aklouk, Arab countries “refused to include this statement: condemning [the UAE] for abandoning Arab decisions. Additionally, they struck out a clause which discussed the trilateral agreement” between the UAE, US, and Israel.
The PA called the UAE-Israel deal “a despicable stab in the back to the Palestinians.”
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat called on Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit to resign if he failed to condemn the accord.
The PA called for an emergency session of the League after the deal was announced, with Al-Maliki quipping: “Does an earthquake not demand an emergency meeting?”
The PA’s request was struck down. A scorned Al-Maliki responded by saying: “Words cannot explain the lack of adherence and implementation of [the League’s] decisions related to Palestine.”
“There is … no respect for them,” he said, adding that it was “embarrassing.”
The Palestinian failure at the Arab League follows another embarrassment at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which called for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, to apologize for the “provocative and erroneous” statements made against Arab member states, Al Arabiya reported.
The chief of the GCC, Dr. Nayef al-Hajraf, condemned the “irresponsible language of incitement and threats” made toward the GCC countries, the report said.