Abraham Accords

The Abraham Accords are a joint statement between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, reached on August 13, 2020.[1] Subsequently the term was used to refer collectively to agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (the Israel–United Arab Emirates normalization agreement) and Bahrain, respectively (the Bahrain–Israel normalization agreement).[2]

White House Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony on September 15, 2020

The statement marked the first public normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that of Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. The original Abraham Accords were signed by the UAE's Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on September 15, 2020, at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C.[3]

The agreement with the UAE was officially titled the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement: Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization Between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel.[4][5] The agreement between Bahrain and Israel was officially titled the Abraham Accords: Declaration of Peace, Cooperation, and Constructive Diplomatic and Friendly Relations, and was announced by the United States on September 11.[4]

The accords are named after the patriarch Abraham, regarded as a prophet by both the religions of Judaism and Islam, and traditionally considered a shared patriarch of the Jewish and Arab peoples (by way of Isaac and Ishmael).[6]

Background and negotiationsEdit

DocumentsEdit

 
Abraham Accords Declaration

The documents related to the Abraham Accords are as follows:

Name Official name Date Signatories Full text
Declaration The Abraham Accords Declaration 15 September 2020 United States, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain [7]
Israel–UAE Agreement Abraham Accords Peace Agreement: Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization Between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel 15 September 2020 Israel, United Arab Emirates, United States (witness) [8]
Bahrain–Israel Agreement Abraham Accords: Declaration of Peace, Cooperation, and Constructive Diplomatic and Friendly Relations 15 September 2020 Bahrain, Israel, United States (witness) [9]

An analysis by Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that the four parties first signed the Abraham Accords Declaration, a "general, symbolic statement of intentions" and referred to the three documents signed as "a bunch of statements in support of global peace

AftermathEdit

At the signing, US President Donald Trump said five nations could soon follow, including Saudi Arabia, although analysts believed that Sudan and Oman were more likely candidates in the short term.[10] On September 23, 2020, US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said that a new country will recognize Israel "in the next day or two."[11] On September 26, 2020, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said that Sudan did not want to link its removal from a US terrorism list to normalizing relations with Israel, as asked for by the US.[12]

On October 23, 2020, Sudan formally agreed to normalize ties with Israel and join the broader diplomatic realignment in the Middle East[13][14] in a deal brokered from the Oval Office by the United States and President Trump.[15] Israel and Sudan leaders originally agreed to move towards normalization after a February 2020 meeting in Uganda and accelerated a deal following normalization announcements between Israel and UAE.[16] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, "This is a new era. An era of true peace. A peace that is expanding with other Arab countries—three of them in recent weeks".[13] The United States agreed to remove Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, lifting coinciding economic sanctions and agreed to advance discussions on debt forgiveness.[14] Denying any wrongdoing, Sudan agreed to pay 335 million U.S. dollars in compensation to American victims of terror.[14] In a tweet from his official Twitter account, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok thanked Mr. Trump for signing the executive order removing his country from the list of state sponsors of terrorism but didn't mention the deal with Israel.[13]

Oman postponed a decision to normalize ties with Israel until after the U.S. presidential election, which happened on November 3, 2020.[17]

In November 2020, the mediating US Donald Trump administration of the Abraham Accords lost the elections, against the Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Following Trump’s defeat, the UAE enrolled lobbying firm Akin Gump and its subcontractor American Defense International to convince the incoming Biden administration and the Congress over the pending F-35 fighter jet sales. In a 13-page report, these lobbyists stated that the jets will provide “frontline defense” for the UAE, the US and their Middle Eastern partners. It also said that the UAE would be enabled to share the security burden of the US, if it acquires the aircraft.[18]

In December 2020, Israel and Morocco agreed to normalize their relations in the Israel–Morocco normalization agreement, with the United States recognizing Morocco's claim over Western Sahara.[19]

In January 2021, Sudan signed the accords which as well as the US completing the promise of removing the country from the list of countries supporting terrorism, they have also been provided with a bridge loan to clear the arrears of the World Bank and access to $1bn annual funding.[20]

Economic impactEdit

While the two countries had long-maintained de facto recognition in areas of business including the diamond trade,[21] and high tech industries including artificial intelligence[22] and defence,[23] the accord opened the door to a much wider range of economic cooperation, including formal investments. Abu Dhabi Investment Office opened its first overseas branch in Israel.[24] A number of kosher restaurants were opened in the UAE to cater to Jewish visitors.[25]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Read the full statement by the US, Israel and UAE on normalizing Israel-UAE relations". CNN. 2020-08-13. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
  2. ^ "The Abraham Accords". U.S. Department of States.
  3. ^ "Israel, UAE and Bahrain sign Abraham Accord; Trump says "dawn of new Middle East"". Press Trust of India. The Hindu. 2020-09-16.
  4. ^ a b Makovsky, David (2020-09-16). "How the Abraham Accords Look Forward, Not Back". Washington Institute.
  5. ^ "Israel signs pacts with 2 Arab states: A 'new' Mideast?". Associated Press. 2020-08-13.
  6. ^ Tahmizian Meuse, Alison (2020-09-16). "Israel inks twin Arab treaties with UAE, Bahrain". Asia Times.
  7. ^ "Full text of the Abraham Accords signed by Israel, the UAE and Bahrain". The White House. 2020-09-16.
  8. ^ "FULL TEXT: The Israel-UAE-Bahrain Abraham Accords Peace Agreement". Haaaretz. 2020-09-16.
  9. ^ "Abraham Accords: Full text". Jerusalem Post. 2020-09-16.
  10. ^ "Israel, U.A.E. and Bahrain Sign Accords, With an Eager Trump Playing Host". New York Times. 2020-09-15. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  11. ^ "UN ambassador: Another country will recognize Israel in 'day or two'". New York Post. 2020-09-23. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  12. ^ "Sudan rejects linking removal from U.S. terrorism list with Israel ties". Reuters. 2020-09-26. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  13. ^ a b c Schwartz, Felicia (2020-10-23). "Israel, Sudan Agree to Normalize Ties in U.S.-Brokered Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  14. ^ a b c Suliman, Adela (2020-10-23). "Sudan formally recognizes Israel in U.S.-brokered deal". NBC News. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  15. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Brokers a Historic Peace Agreement Between Israel and Sudan". The White House. The White House. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  16. ^ Schwartz, Felicia (2020-08-18). "Sudan in Talks to Formalize Ties With Israel". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  17. ^ "Sudan, Oman postpone normalising ties with Israel until after US elections". Middle East Monitor. 2020-10-03.
  18. ^ "UAE enrolls its lobbyists in F-35 fight". Foreign Lobby. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  19. ^ "Morocco latest country to normalise ties with Israel in US-brokered deal". 2020-12-10 – via www.bbc.com.
  20. ^ Reuters Staff (2021-01-06). "Sudan quietly signs Abraham Accords weeks after Israel deal". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
  21. ^ Shnidman, Ronen (2018-11-27). "Diamond Trade Binds Israel and the UAE Together". CTECH - www.calcalistech.com.
  22. ^ "Israeli robotics delegation to Dubai marks warming Gulf ties". AP NEWS. 2019-11-06.
  23. ^ staff, T. O. I. "UAE-based intelligence firm said recruiting IDF veterans from elite cyber unit". www.timesofisrael.com.
  24. ^ Godinho, Varun (2020-09-17). "Abu Dhabi Investment Office to open first international branch in Tel Aviv".
  25. ^ "UAE-Israel treaty: Data insights will be key for sizing up deals". gulfnews.com.