Israel, United Arab Emirates minister in the US, while Biden tries to extend normalization


Top diplomats from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will hold tripartite talks in Washington on Wednesday as President Joe Biden’s administration embraces and extends normalization efforts.

Concerns about Iran – whose bogeyman helped bring Israel and the Gulf states together when they forged ties under the Abrahamic Accords last year – are likely to top the agenda after Biden’s early diplomatic advances in Tehran bore little immediate fruit .

Read more on Israel, United Arab Emirates minister in the US, while Biden tries to extend normalization…


Top diplomats from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will hold tripartite talks in Washington on Wednesday as President Joe Biden’s administration embraces and extends normalization efforts.

Concerns about Iran – whose bogeyman helped bring Israel and the Gulf states together when they forged ties under the Abrahamic Accords last year – are likely to top the agenda after Biden’s early diplomatic advances in Tehran bore little immediate fruit .

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will split up after a similar virtual event last month and will meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lid and his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

View | The West Asia Post: The Abrahamic Agreement, a year later

Former President Donald Trump viewed the so-called Abraham Accords as the crowning achievement of his administration, as the United Arab Emirates, followed shortly afterwards by Bahrain and Morocco, were the first Arab states in decades to normalize relations with Israel.

Despite their myriad political differences, the Biden team has paid tribute to the Trump administration for the Abraham Accord and rejected criticism that normalization ignores the plight of the Palestinians.

View | Former Trump Advisor Kushner, Ivanka Trump inaugurate the Abraham Accords Committee

Trump’s arguments were also seen as transactional as he agreed to sell state-of-the-art fighter jets to the UAE and recognize Morocco’s contentious claim about Western Sahara – moves Biden did not reverse.

A senior State Department official said the Abraham Accords “can contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous Middle East.”

“It is not a substitute for a two-state solution. We hope that normalization can be used to promote progress on the Israeli-Palestinian path, ”the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

He said the three nations will announce working groups to expand cooperation on energy and water – a scarce resource in the Middle East – as well as religious coexistence.

Both Israel and the United Arab Emirates have boasted dividends since they signed their deal in Trump’s presence at the White House in September 2020.

Israel has made progress on its long-term goal of ending its isolation in its close neighborhood, while the United Arab Emirates has expressed hopes of $ 1 trillion in new economic activity through trade over the next decade.

The US official said the Biden administration was “actively working to extend normalization,” but declined to provide details.

Sudan, amid severe twisting of the arm by Trump, said last year it would seek ties with Israel but has held back under heavy pressure on the country’s fragile new civilian-backed government.

Quiet disagreements over Iran

Trump isn’t the only leader to quit since the Abraham Accord was signed. Israel’s veteran former right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost power despite the international victory.

Lid, a centrist who formed a coalition to overthrow divisive Netanyahu, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett have maintained many of the former government’s international priorities – including a pressure campaign on Iran, whose nuclear program has been largely hampered by a series of sabotage attacks on Israel blamed.

Calling for peaceful solutions, Biden tried to re-join a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that was bitterly rejected by Israel and devastated by Trump, prompting Tehran to revive the controversial nuclear work it had ceased.

Indirect US-Iran talks did not bring about a breakthrough before the election of a new hardliner government in Tehran, which has just returned to the negotiations in Vienna.

In a meeting on Tuesday with Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan, Lid called for “the need for an alternative plan to the nuclear deal,” according to the Israeli embassy.

But the new administration has been careful to keep disagreements more civil after Israel faced violent backlash from Biden’s Democratic Party when Netanyahu openly campaigned against former President Barack Obama’s diplomacy.

“It seems like there is this mutual recognition between the US and our partners in the region, especially Israel, that we are much better at tackling this issue together and keeping our differences behind closed doors,” said Michael Singh, a Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

.

COMMENTS