Gulf Arab power the United Arab Emirates warned on Friday that there was a real risk of a regional spillover from the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, adding that it was working “relentlessly” to secure a humanitarian ceasefire.
The UAE was the most prominent Arab country to sign the 2020 Abraham Accords, a series of pacts with Israel, which the latter hoped would pave the way to normalisation of ties with Muslim superpower Saudi Arabia, but the war dealt those plans a blow.
“As we continue working to stop this war we cannot ignore the wider context and the necessity to turn down the regional temperature that is approaching a boiling point,” Noura al-Kaabi, a minister of state for foreign affairs, told a policy conference in the capital, Abu Dhabi.
“The risk of regional spillover and further escalation is real, as well as the risk that extremist groups will take advantage of the situation to advance ideologies that will keep us locked in cycles of violence.”
A leading oil power, the UAE views groups such as Hamas, which was tied to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, as an existential threat to the Middle East.
The UAE supported Egypt’s current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, when he toppled the Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Mursi in 2013.
“Every effort must be made to protect civilians and immediately put an end to this conflict,” Kaabi added.