At a historic meeting in Israel’s Negev desert, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates pledged to strengthen security and economic cooperation. This was the first meeting of the foreign ministers of all six countries and the first visit to Israel by foreign ministers from the UAE and Morocco.
Remarking on the unique nature of the summit, Secretary Blinken observed that “Just a few years ago, this gathering would have been impossible to imagine.” The Abraham Accords signed September 15th, 2020, with leaders from Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates as well as the normalization agreement between Morocco and Israel have made “once-impossible things. . .become possible,” said Secretary Blinken. “We’ve seen democracy flourish, with Morocco and Israel agreeing to open embassies in Rabat and Tel Aviv; Prime Minister [Naftali] Bennett becoming the first Israeli prime minister to visit Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.”
In recent weeks, the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Egypt met to launch new areas of cooperation. Bahrain and Israel signed more than a dozen agreements, including on aviation, banking, and technology. Government and business leaders from Morocco and Israel met to promote tourism across both countries and solar energy.
The Abraham Accords are making the lives of the people across these countries more peaceful, prosperous, vibrant, and integrated. The United States will continue to “strongly support a process that is transforming this region and beyond,” said Secretary Blinken.
At the same time, Secretary Blinken cautioned that ”these regional peace agreements are not a substitute for progress between Palestinians and Israelis.” The United States and countries normalizing relations with Israel as well as those that have longstanding diplomatic relationships with Israel, continue to explore ways to support Palestinians and make a positive impact on their daily lives in the West Bank and Gaza.
Secretary Blinken commended the courage of those nations willing to break down barriers and forge new relationships through the Abraham Accords and normalization. “I am excited,” he said, “to see all that you and we can imagine and create together for one another, for the region, [and] for the world.”