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Kushner warns against neglecting Abraham Accords at one-year anniversary event

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15.09.2021

WASHINGTON — Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner warned Tuesday the benefits of the Abraham Accords that he helped broker a year ago could slip away if the agreements aren’t “nurtured.”

“If these [normalization] agreements are not nurtured, we run the risk that they could go backward, but if we nourish them properly, the potential for what can come from them is enormous and beyond our expectations,” Kushner said at an event in Washington marking the one-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords’ signing.

The comments weren’t explicitly directed at the Biden administration, which sent a representative from the US State Department to the confab full of Trump allies and surrogates at the Georgetown Four Seasons Hotel. But Kushner’s successors in the White House will determine whether the Abraham Accords will become a partisan initiative associated solely with the Republican party, or one that can be advanced by administrations on both sides of the aisle.

US President Joe Biden has expressed his support for the endeavor, telling Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the White House last month that he will work to develop the existing agreements Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and Kosovo in the past year, in addition to expanding the accords to include new countries in the Arab and Muslim world willing to establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

However, he hasn’t appointed a specific envoy to spearhead the issue, as was the case under Trump. Some of his staffers have also sidestepped referring to the normalization agreements as the “Abraham Accords,” in an apparent attempt to dissociate from the previous administration.

Nonetheless, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Yael Lempert was sent on behalf of the administration to Kushner’s event. She declined an interview request but said she was “proud” to be in attendance.

Separately on Tuesday, the US State Department announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken will on Friday host an event marking the Abraham Accords anniversary, using the Trump team-coined term to describe the initiative. Blinken will be joined virtually by the foreign ministers of Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco “and discuss ways to further deepen ties and build a more prosperous region,” a State Department spokesperson said.

Notably absent from Friday’s official commemoration will be Sudan, whose new civilian-backed government —........

© The Times of Israel


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