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Betrayed Palestine not to chair Arab League presidency

The peace agreements in the Arab world between Israel and many Arab countries might bring peace in a conflict-torn region but the Palestinians feel betrayed. The Palestinian demand for a homeland was once supported by most Arab countries but now developing ties with Israel is making the demand weaker.

Palestine has decided to give up its right to chair the presidency of the Arab League in its current session, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced on Tuesday.

"This doesn't mean we will give up our seat in the league because that will create a vacuum which can generate different scenarios we don't want at this sensitive time," al-Maliki told a news conference in Ramallah. "The state of Palestine is a member of the Arab League and has always worked to enhance its role and position," <em>Xinhua </em>news agency quoted the Minister.

The announcement came in the wake of the Arab League's failure to stop Israeli normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Palestine "is not honoured to witness the Arabs scrambling toward free normalization with Israel during its presidency of the League Council", al-Maliki said.

"Free normalization is a flagrant violation of the decisions of the Arab summits regarding the Arab Peace Initiative," he added. According to the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, Arab states can only normalize relations with Israel after it ends its military occupation of the Palestinian and Arab territories.

While the Palestinians feel betrayed, on the other hand, Israel has welcomed the peace accords saying that these will bring peace to the Middle East.

The development comes after Israel signed agreements to normalise diplomatic ties with the UAE and Bahrain at the White House on September 15. US President Donald Trump joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in signing the three-way agreements.

Due to American intervention as as peace broker, the Arab countries – UAE and Bahrain – have now become the third and the fourth Arab nations to establish diplomatic ties with Israel. Egypt and Jordan had signed their peace deals with Israel decades back in 1979 and 1994, respectively..