King of Bahrain tells UN that peace was achieved in exchange for Israel “stopping” plans for sovereignty over settlements, says it will lead to establishment of a Palestinian state.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The leader of Bahrain praised the recent peace agreements signed with Israel, telling the UN Wednesday that Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates agreed to the accords in exchange for Israel backing down from applying sovereignty over settlements.
“From of our keenness to preserve the security and stability of the region, and as an embodiment of our resolute approach to openness and coexistence with all, we have announced the establishment of relations with the State of Israel, sending a civilized message affirming that our hand is extended for a just and comprehensive peace, as it is the best guarantee for the future of all peoples of the region,” King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
“In reaching [the] ‘historic peace agreement’ with Israel, under the auspices and efforts of the United States of America, in exchange for stopping Israel’s annexation of the Palestinian lands, the UAE has enhanced opportunities for peace, reduced tensions, and given the people of the region a new era of understanding, rapprochement and peaceful coexistence, while preserving its firm position on the Palestinian issue,” the monarch said.
King Hamad singled out the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Egypt for praise, noting that all three were involved in what he said were the efforts to promote peace and stability in the region, and called for “intensified efforts to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in accordance with the two-state solution.”
Palestinian leaders had called the Abraham Accords, signed at the White House on September 15, a “stab in the back,” but Hamad sloughed the insult off, saying it was a key move on behalf of the Palestinians.
“We consider this a cornerstone for achieving a just and comprehensive peace leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the king said, saying the Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative was still the basis. However, the Saudi plan had called for Arab states to recognize Israel only after a Palestinian state had been achieved.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Thursday at a conference hosted by the Jerusalem Post that the sovereignty process had been suspended, not halted.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he talked with King Hamad’s eldest son, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifaa, describing it as “an outstanding, very friendly conversation.”
“We reiterated the principles of the Abraham Accords and we discussed how we might quickly add content to the agreements between Bahrain and Israel and turn this peace into economic peace, technological peace, tourist peace, peace in all of these fields. You will hear about the practical steps very soon,” Netanyahu said.