UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- The deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while removing an immediate threat to Middle East peace, has the potential to change dynamics across the region, said UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov on Tuesday.
Israel's commitment to suspending its plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank removes an immediate threat that might upend the peace process and regional stability, he told the Security Council in a briefing.
Annexation would constitute a most serious violation of the international law, effectively close the door to a renewal of negotiations and destroy the prospect of a viable Palestinian state and the two-state solution itself, he said.
The Israel-UAE agreement, which includes the normalization of relations between the two countries, creates new opportunities for cooperation at a time when the Middle East and the world face grave dangers from the COVID-19 pandemic and radicalization. It will create economic opportunities and opportunities for peace, he said.
"I hope it will inspire leaders on all sides to re-engage constructively in meaningful negotiations to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The terms of reference of resolving the conflict have not changed -- they are based on the relevant UN resolutions, bilateral agreements and international law. Only a two-state solution, in which Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition, can lead to sustainable peace."
Today is not the time to despair about the Palestinian cause. Annexation plans have been stopped. In fact, today is the time to redouble efforts, to reach out more actively than ever to leaders in the Middle East, and for the Palestinian and Israeli leadership to re-engage constructively, he said.