Palestinians set to soften stance on UAE-Israel normalisation - draft statement

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RAMALLAH (Reuters) - The Palestinian leadership has watered down its criticism of the normalisation deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates before an Arab League meeting in Cairo on Wednesday at which the accord will be debated.

A draft resolution presented by the Palestinian envoy, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, does not include a call to condemn, or act against, the Emirates over the U.S.-brokered deal.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also issued instructions on Tuesday banning any offensive statements or actions towards Arab leaders, including UAE rulers.

Announced on Aug. 13, the accord was the first such accommodation between an Arab country and Israel in more than 20 years, and was forged largely through shared fears of Iran.

The draft Palestinian resolution to be debated by Arab foreign ministers said the Israel-U.S.-Emirates announcement “doesn’t diminish Arab consensus over the Palestinian cause, the Palestinian cause is the cause of the entire Arab nation”.

“The trilateral announcement doesn’t change the principal Arab vision based on the fact that the two-state solution on the 1967 borders is the only way to achieve peace in the Middle East,” the draft said.

The tone is markedly different from that of Abbas, whose office on Aug. 13 called the accord “betrayal” and a “stab in the back of the Palestinian cause.”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump have described the accord as historic, and urged other Arab countries to follow suit.

Emirati leaders said the deal shelved Israeli plans to annex territory in the occupied West Bank.

Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Nidal Almughrabi, Editing by Timothy Heritage