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The Promise of the Abraham Accords

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Whether you are right-wing or left-wing politically, it’s difficult to see the Abraham Accords as anything but a big step forward for diplomacy and peace in the Middle East. The Abraham Accords, a joint statement of cooperation between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, as well as between Israel and Bahrain, signed on September 15, 2020 on the South Lawn of the White House, signifies the biggest step forward in the normalization of relations between Israel and Arab countries since Israel’s treaties with Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994. More good news followed. Soon thereafter, in December 2020, Morocco agreed to normalize relations with Israel and on January 6, 2021 Sudan did as well. While Israel and the United Arab Emirates had already conducted business before, particularly in the diamond industry, this commitment to a deeper cooperation opens the door to what Daniel Aschheim, the Consul for Public Diplomacy at the Consulate General to the Midwest, called in our recent interview “a multilateral collaboration in numerous mutually beneficial industries, including science and technology, health, and travel and tourism, which has enormous promise for all countries involved and for the Middle East region by and large”. The Abraham Accords, Aschheim further indicated during the course of our conversation, achieves the following important goals:

  • It provides a mutually beneficial collaboration against the security threat posed by Islamic extremism as well as against the destabilizing role of Iran and its support of various radical Shia groups, such as the Houthi tribesmen in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria
  • It helps promote the diversification of the economy and clean energy strategies, which the Persian Gulf countries, formerly heavily reliant on the oil and natural gas industries, are trying to encourage in the region (such as the UAE’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development)
  • Based on further independent reading on the subject (not on a statement by Daniel Aschheim), I would add a third point:

  • It helps stimulate the economy and create more private sector work for natives of Gulf countries, which may eventually go a long way in mitigating the security perceived threat by many Arab citizens due to their countries’ heavy reliance on foreign labor
  • To unpack each of these assertions, let me offer a little background about the region. The Persian Gulf includes 6 Arab........

    © The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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