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Diplomats mark one year since Abraham Accords in NY, Washington

CM 13/09/2021


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WASHINGTON – Diplomats from Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco gathered in Washington and New York to mark one year since the historic Abraham Accords agreements in two events.
“It is important to recognize just how significant this moment really is,” said Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan in his speech at the event hosted by the Wilson Center.
“Together, we chose peace, progress and prosperity over our past differences,” he said. “We chose to work together to change the way Jews and Arabs perceive each other, to promote mutually beneficial economic activity and to face the larger challenges in the Middle East as a united front.

“One year later, it is clear these agreements have gone well beyond their important symbolism,” Erdan continued. “We have used this defining first year to guarantee that our partnership will last for generations to come.”
The ambassador noted that both countries opened embassies and signed deals “promoting collaboration on culture, trade, climate and technological innovation.” He said that Israel will have one of the largest pavilions at the Dubai Expo and travelers can now fly directly from Tel Aviv to Marrakech or Abu Dhabi.
“In fact, the UAE is now the first Arab country that Israelis can visit without a visa, and vice versa,” Erdan said. “These steps are critical to laying the groundwork for a long-term meaningful relationship.”
“The thing that has changed the most is people’s understandings – and it’s hard to measure,” said Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador in Washington.
“It’s easy to measure trade; it’s easy to measure investments or deals or how many flights and how many tourists. [But] it’s hard to explain how people’s mindsets have shifted,” he said. “When I started seeing Orthodox Jewish weddings taking place in Dubai during COVID – during a very difficult time socially in a country that most of these people have never been to; they decided to pack up, take their families and have a wedding in this place that they’ve only seen on TV or on the Internet – that’s the biggest change I’ve envisioned.”

 (FROM LEFT) Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US president Donald Trump, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani and the UAE’s bin Zayed at the White House after the Abraham Accords signing, September 15, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/TOM BRENNER/FILE PHOTO) (FROM LEFT) Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US president Donald Trump, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani and the UAE’s bin Zayed at the White House after the Abraham Accords signing, September 15, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/TOM BRENNER/FILE PHOTO)

Sheikh Abdulla Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Ambassador to the US, agreed with Al Otaiba. “Obviously, the shift in mindset is probably the biggest thing that we are witnessing within the communities today,” he said. “We’ve seen trade grow, bilateral relations fostered [and] people-to-people relationships being established and growing with time.
“This is probably the biggest breakthrough between Arabs and Jews in the past 25 years,” the ambassador said.
“I think that, yes, it does take us a step closer to a comprehensive peace in the region,” al Khalifa said. “And I think it also sets an example for others within the region itself. I mean, here you have peace being achieved between Arabs and Jews. That sets a very good foundation for peace that can be developed by others that share the region.”
IN A SEPARATE event in New York, hosted at the Jewish Heritage Museum, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield said that the agreements represent progress toward a more peaceful region, “but perhaps what is most remarkable is that in the past year, we’ve gone from ink on a page to concrete improvements between countries.
“Since the Accords were signed, Israel has opened embassies in the UAE and in Bahrain – and both the UAE and Bahrain have appointed their first ambassadors to Israel,” she said.
“Clearly, we want to build on this model and replicate this success,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “And let me be clear: The United States is committed to strengthening and expanding on these agreements. That means pushing for more headway among those who have already signed the agreements – such as those here at the table and Sudan – and also reaching additional agreements with more Arab and Muslim countries to extend the circle of peace.
“I am also determined to explore how we can translate these agreements into progress within the UN system,” she said.
“At the same time, I want to be clear that as we continue to pursue normalization between Israel and neighboring countries, we remain committed to a two-state solution,” the ambassador said. “We firmly believe Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security and prosperity. And US diplomacy will remain focused on practical steps to advance that vision in the immediate term.”

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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