Secretary of State Tony Blinken will hold a virtual meeting with his counterparts from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco on Friday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Abrahamic Agreement.
why it matters: It is the most active and public display of support by the Biden administration for the agreements, which were a historic achievement in President Trump’s foreign policy.
Behind the scenes: Officials in Israel, Emirati and Bahrain have been pressuring the Biden administration for the past two months to organize some kind of commemoration. Officials in the three countries told Nerdshala that the Biden administration was non-committal and suggested holding virtual meetings only in recent days.
- “The event will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Agreement and discuss ways to further deepen ties and create a more prosperous region,” a senior State Department official told me.
Flashback: The Abrahamic Agreement was signed by former President Trump, the then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Foreign Ministers of UAE and Bahrain at the White House on September 15, 2020.
- The agreement included the normalization of relations between Israel and the two Gulf countries.
- The following month, Israel and Sudan announced that they would normalize relations.
- Then in December, following the US elections, Morocco renewed diplomatic relations with Israel in exchange for recognizing the disputed Western Sahara as part of Morocco.
big picture: Biden endorsed the Abraham Accords as a presidential candidate and reiterated his support after taking office. But the Biden administration was reluctant to use the term “Abraham Accords,” which was directly tied to Trump’s legacy.
- Still, the Biden administration took several steps to stabilize the agreements, including allowing a deal to sell F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates and upholding Trump’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara.
- The Biden administration came to Sudan through a $700 million aid package promised by Trump as part of a normalization deal with Israel.
What will happen next: The Biden administration is still working to finalize the Israel-Sudan deal and hold an official signing ceremony, as requested by Sudanese. Administration officials say they are also working to persuade more Arab countries to normalize ties with Israel.
Noteworthy: Yale Lampert, the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs, attended a ceremony on Tuesday organized by the Abraham Accords Institute for Peace, founded by Jared Kushner and former US envoy Avi Berkowitz, who brokered the deals.