Nikolai Mladenov, a former Bulgarian foreign minister and the outgoing UN envoy to the Middle East, considered the establishment of official relations between Arab countries and Tel Aviv as a “positive shift that could benefit the Palestinians.”
The Bulgarian diplomat, whose mission as a UN envoy to the Middle East ended last Thursday after 6 years in this position, said that “normalization can be used as a carrot to reward Israel for stopping the annexation operations,” as quoted by the American newspaper, The New York Times, which had an interview with him published on Saturday.
Regarding the Palestinians’ regard of the recent agreements between Arab countries and the Hebrew state as a “catastrophic betrayal,” the American newspaper added that Mladenov believes that they may be beneficial to the Palestinians as well. “Okay, now (…) the Palestinians are very angry,” he said, “but put all these emotions aside and think: Who are the most effective when trying to push Israel to do things? Egypt and Jordan. And if 4, 6 or 10 Arab countries have embassies?” In Tel Aviv, you would want these countries to be on your side, wouldn’t you?
He added that these relations give some Arab countries an influence on Tel Aviv. Therefore, “if you are Palestinian, you will actually want to explain to your Arab brothers and friends what your positions are and bring them back to your side at the dialogue table.”
The New York Times explained that Mladenov, although he was not enthusiastic about Trump’s peace plan, said that the ongoing transformations are creating exciting possibilities for his successor as a UN envoy, which is the Norwegian diplomat Thor Wennesland.
Source: The New York Times