TEL AVIV(Sputnik) – Yair Lapid, the head of the Yesh Atid party and the leader of Israel’s parliamentary opposition said that he supported the US-brokered peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and expressed belief that this deal may help develop Israel’s economic ties.
“Of course, this is a good deal. Since 2015, I have been talking about the need to establish ties between Israel and neighboring countries. The UAE is an important player, I think Bahrain and possibly Sudan will support this initiative. But naturally, the main country for us is Saudi Arabia. We are trying to negotiate with them through the mediation of the United States, this is possible, but not in the near future,” Lapid said.
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Saud previously expressed the kingdom’s commitment to the 2002 Arab peace initiative and the UN Security Council resolutions on the Palestine issue, which entail creation of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem and return of Palestinian refugees to their homes.
Lapid also believes that freezing plans for Israel’s annexation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank is the right decision.
“The unilateral annexation was not a good idea … Unilateral annexation would only harm Israel’s security, lead to violence, and would have no diplomatic benefit. I always thought it was a bad idea and I’m glad it went off the agenda,” the lawmaker added.
Contacts with the UAE and possible agreements with other countries of the Persian Gulf, according to the head of the Israeli parliamentary opposition, will also help the Jewish state to build a regional anti-Iranian front.
The US-brokered UAE-Israel peace deal was announced by President Donald Trump earlier in August. The agreement will see Israel and the UAE fully normalize relations and establish diplomatic ties. In addition, Israel will suspend the West Bank annexation plans.