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Arab League to discuss UAE-Israel normalisation of relations


Arab League to discuss UAE-Israel normalisation of relations

Arab League UAE-Israel meeting
Photo: Ariel Schalit/AP Photo

In an online meeting chaired by the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Arab League will meet today to discuss the recent UAE-Israel normalisation deal.

Despite the PA’s ongoing calls to urgently address the deal since mid-August, today’s meeting marks the first instance the League will address the UAE’s move to normalise relations with Israel. The cause of the delay has been member states’ inability to agree on a unified position in relation to normalisation with Israel. While Bahrain and Oman have openly welcomed the UAE’s move, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait have remained cautiously silent and Jordan has attempted to conceal its discomfort with neutrality.

Though the majority of Gulf Arab states enjoy covert bilateral relations with Israel, the Arab public’s perceived support for the Palestinian cause serves to deter many Arab governments—especially those that rely on public legitimacy to maintain their grip over their populations—from establishing formal ties with Israel.

One potential challenge that awaits the League in today’s meeting is the PA’s introduction of a draft resolution calling on all member states to remain committed to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative (API). Even though the UAE has affirmed its commitment to the API rhetorically, its unilateral move significantly undermines the League’s official stance on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, putting it at odds with the majority of member states. Thus, expect the League to run into significant internal disagreements related to the UAE and the future of the API.

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