UAE offers to mediate between Palestinians and Israelis
The UAE is willing to facilitate peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, a statement by the Gulf state's de factor ruler said on Sunday.
In comments to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi via a telephone call, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said the UAE was ready to step in after an Egyptian brokered ceasefire saw an end to Israel's 11-day bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip.
The Gulf state "is ready to work with all parties to maintain the ceasefire and explore new paths to reduce escalation and achieve peace", state news agency WAM cited Sheikh Mohammed as saying.
Such a move would mark a rare attempt by the UAE to support Gaza - the besieged Palestinian enclave it traditionally lacked influence over and whose harsh criticism it faced after the Gulf state normalised ties with Israel last year under the controversial "Abraham Accords".
In his comments, the crown prince stressed the need for "additional efforts, especially by Israeli and Palestinian leaders".
Last year's controversial normalisation deals signed by the UAE and Bahrain, followed by Sudan and Morocco, were slammed by the Palestinians as an abandonment of the long-held position that Arab states should only establish ties with Israel if a two-state solution is reached.
Peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been in deadlock for years.
Egypt and Qatar led regional efforts for a ceasefire that ended 11 days of violence in which a relentless Israeli aerial bombardment of Gaza killed at least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, and injured more than 1,900 others.