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Palestine 'too sacred' to accept normalisation, Algerian president says

A Palestinian-Algerian mural in Gaza [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 September, 2020

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Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune has rejected normalisation and said Palestine is too 'sacred' to betray.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune deplored all forms of normalisation with Israel and mocked Bahrain and the UAE for “scrambling” to normalise.

During a televised press briefing on Sunday evening, Tebboune said Algeria would never participate in normalisation with Israel.

"We have notice a kind of scramble towards normalisation. This is something we will never participate in, nor bless," he said.

Tebboune added that he would repeat this position during his speech before the next General Assembly of the United Nations next Tuesday.

He urged that "the Palestinian issue is the mother of all causes, and a core issue.” 

“There is no solution to the Palestinian issue except with the establishment of the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with honourable Jerusalem as its capital,” he added.

“In the event of a formal declaration of a Palestinian state, the Middle East problem will end. The key to resolving the Middle East issue is the Palestinian issue."

Read also: Bahrainis protesting Israel normalisation 'in secret' amid fears of Arab Spring style crackdown

Algeria has sustained its adherence to its position on Palestine, which it declared since independence.

Algiers has not officially recognised Israel and refused to open a representative office for Israel after the Oslo Accords in the mid-1990s.

Tebboune’s words were hailed by Palestinians and Algerians alike, who have a long history of intertwined solidarity.

‘Betraying Palestinians’

In August, US President Donald Trump announced the UAE had become the third Arab country and first Gulf Arab state to normalise ties with Israel, with Bahrain following suit shortly after.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country is in talks with other Arab and Muslim leaders about normalising relations.

The UAE's decision to normalise ties with Israel has been welcomed by some Arab countries, but despite cheerleading from the US, others have rejected the idea and many approach it with caution.

The Palestinians have condemned the deal as a stab in the back by a major Arab player while they still lack a state of their own.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was on a Middle East visit last month, expressed optimism that more Arab nations would also sign up.

Recent reports suggest Sudan is also discussing the prospects of a move to normalise relations with Israel.

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