UAE foreign minister meets with Palestinian official in Abu Dhabi

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) foreign minister has met a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official in Abu Dhabi where they discussed international efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza, the Emirati state news agency reported on Thursday.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan met Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General Hussein Sheikh to also discuss the humanitarian crisis in the coastal enclave.

In the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah stressed the importance of prioritizing negotiations towards a framework for a two-state peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, WAM reported.

The UAE, a Gulf power, is one of few Arab states that has official diplomatic relations with Israel. It established ties in 2020 under a US-brokered deal that paved the way for other Arab states to build their own relations with Israel.

Fellow Gulf state Qatar has been mediating negotiations with Israel for the release of hostages and for a ceasefire.

Qatar and Egypt mediated between Israel and Hamas in the late November truce during which Hamas released 110 women, children and foreigners it was holding in exchange for 240 Palestinian women and teenagers freed from Israeli jails.

Abu Dhabi has condemned the October 7 Hamas attack and called on the Palestinian group to release hostages held in Gaza. The Gulf state has also condemned Israel’s bombardment of the enclave and used its non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council to push for a ceasefire in the war.

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