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Blinken pledges US backing to expand Abraham Accords between Israel, Arab states

22 6 18

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged on Friday that the Biden administration would actively work to support and expand the growing diplomatic ties between Israel and Arab nations.

Speaking at a Zoom event to mark the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on the White House lawn, Blinken pledged that “this administration will continue to build on the successful efforts of the last administration to keep normalization marching forward.”

Blinken laid out three main lines of effort to support the agreements — fostering Israel’s ties with the UAE and Bahrain as well as Morocco, Sudan and Kosovo; deepening Israel’s existing relationships with Egypt and Jordan; and encouraging more countries to join the Abraham Accords.

Sudan and Morocco joined the Abraham Accords in the months after they were signed, while Kosovo agreed to recognize Israel as part of a separate US-brokered agreement involving Serbia.

“We want to widen the circle of peaceful diplomacy,” said Blinken, “because it’s in the interest of countries across the region and around the world for Israel to be treated like any other country.”

Notably, Blinken used the term “Abraham Accords,” something Biden administration officials have tended to avoid when discussing the agreements.

Blinken was joined by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, former UAE foreign minister Anwar Gargash and Bahrain’s US envoy Abdullah Al Khalifa.

Turning to the Palestinians, Blinken said, “We all must build on these relationships and growing normalization to make tangible improvements in the lives of Palestinians.”

He urged “progress toward the long-standing goal........

© The Times of Israel

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