The Abraham Accords are a joint statement between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, reached on August 13, 2020. 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).
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.
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. 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.
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).
Background and negotiationsEdit
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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|||
|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)|||
|Bahrain–Israel Agreement||Abraham Accords: Declaration of Peace, Cooperation, and Constructive Diplomatic and Friendly Relations||15 September 2020||Bahrain, Israel, United States (witness)|||
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
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. 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." 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.
On October 23, 2020, Sudan formally agreed to normalize ties with Israel and join the broader diplomatic realignment in the Middle East in a deal brokered from the Oval Office by the United States and President Trump. 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. 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". 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. Denying any wrongdoing, Sudan agreed to pay 335 million U.S. dollars in compensation to American victims of terror. 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.
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.
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.
While the two countries had long-maintained de facto recognition in areas of business including the diamond trade, and high tech industries including artificial intelligence and defence, 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. A number of kosher restaurants were opened in the UAE to cater to Jewish visitors.
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