Foreign Minister Antony Blinken will hold a tripartite meeting with the foreign ministers of Israel and the United Arab Emirates at the State Department on Wednesday.
why it matters: This is the first such meeting since the signing of the “Abraham Agreement” in 2020, the normalization agreement Israel has with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. It is a significant move by the Biden administration to strengthen the treaty between the countries.
Behind the scenes: Israel’s Yair Lapid and the UAE’s Abdullah bin Zayed began the gathering, telling Blinken that they would come to Washington at the same time and preposing the meeting, Israeli officials told Nerdshala.
Flashback: A similar meeting took place in secret in 2009 when the UAE’s ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, and his Israeli counterpart, Saale Meridor, reached out to the Obama administration to raise their concerns about Iran.
- Jeremy Ischaroff, deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in Washington, reached out to Dennis Ross, the State Department’s point person on Iran, and proposed the meeting.
Ross was surprised Unprecedented offer and immediately agreed. The meeting was held in secret in Al-Otaiba’s suite at the Four Seasons in Georgetown. This week’s trilateral meeting will be held at the public and foreign ministerial level.
what are they saying: Israeli officials say the meeting will focus on promoting US-Israeli-Emirati cooperation on a range of issues as part of the strengthening of the Abrahamic Agreement.
- But Israeli officials say the meeting will also be an opportunity to present Israel and the UAE’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and regional activities.
- “They will discuss bilateral issues including progress made since the signing of the Abrahamic Agreement last year, future opportunities for cooperation, and regional security and stability,” the State Department said in a statement.
go in: Israeli foreign minister goes to DC for coordination on Iran