HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsArab League calls for UN Peacekeeping Mission in OPT

Arab League calls for UN Peacekeeping Mission in OPT

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Manama, 18 May 2024 (TDI): The 33rd Annual Summit of the Arab League called for United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping forces’ presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

The 22-member Arab League Summit was held on Thursday in Manama, Bahrain.

It ratified and endorsed the Bahrain Declaration which among other vital announcements signaled an international peacekeeping mission in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Essentially, the declaration called for the “deployment of United Nations international protection and peacekeeping forces in the occupied Palestinian territory until the two-state solution is implemented”.

However, no further clarification or specifications have been shared in this regard.

UN peacekeepers not Arab troops

The Declaration has not given any clue as to which countries the peacekeepers would be drawn from or when the mission would be expected to begin.

A Bahraini diplomat who worked closely on the declaration shared that the Arab League was calling for UN peacekeepers to be sent to Palestine, rather than Arab troops “as called for by the Western world”.

“Such a deployment would be based on the mandate of the UN’s Department of Peace Operations, which oversees all aspects and deployment of the peacekeeping forces,” the diplomat said.

In the past few weeks, Western countries have urged Arab leaders to send their troops to OPT.

Nevertheless, the Arab leaders have resisted mounting Western pressure to agree to send troops, particularly into Gaza after the conflict ends.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, categorically mentioned that the country “refuses to be drawn into any plan aimed at providing cover for the Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip”.

Last month, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi indicated that Arab states would not send troops to Gaza.

Without mincing words, he stated that Arab states would not allow themselves to be tied to the “misery this war has created”.

Also Read: Jordanian, Turkish, Egyptian Ministers discuss Gaza at WEF

Morocco, UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia reluctance

While the UAE is open to the ideas of cooperation with the US, Morocco, UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia showed reluctance.

“Three Arab states have had initial discussions, including Egypt, the UAE, and Morocco, but they would want the US to recognize a Palestinian state first,” sources mentioned.

“…the American policy is pretty firm that there will be no American troops on the ground, so it’s hard for them to make the argument that others should,” they explained.

Furthermore, they stressed that “there could be other ways to get there, and any effort has to be American-led.”

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