RAMALLAH, Palestine

Palestine on Tuesday relinquished its right to take the rotating presidency of the Arab League in protest of recent deals to normalize relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Israel.

“This decision was taken after the Arab League Secretariat took a supporting position to the UAE and Bahrain, which normalized their relations with Israel in violation of the Arab Peace Initiative,” Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a press conference in Ramallah.

“Some influential Arab states refused to condemn the violation of the Arab Peace initiative,” he said.

Al-Maliki, however, stressed that Palestine will not withdraw from the Arab League.

On Sept. 9, the pan-Arab body failed to issue a resolution condemning the move by Abu Dhabi and Manama to normalize their relations with Israel.

On Sept. 15, the UAE and Bahrain signed US-sponsored agreements to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, amid strong condemnations from the Palestinians.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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