United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken committed on Friday to forge diplomatic ties between Israel and Arab states as part of U.S. President Joe Biden's administration's efforts to support the relationship between the nations.
On the one-year anniversary of the signing of the documents named the Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, a Zoom meeting was held. The video conference was attended by officials from each nation and is where Blinken pledged that the Biden administration will continue its efforts to build international friendships.
Developing Diplomatic Ties With Israel
In the Zoom meeting, Blinken detailed three main lines of effort that would help the agreements, which developed Israel's relationship with the UAE and Bahrain. The deal also fostered its ties with Morocco, Sudan, and Kosovo. The agreement deepened Israel's current friendship with Egypt and Jordan, which urged more countries to sign the Abraham Accords.
Following the months that the agreement was initially signed, Sudan and Morocco joined the relationship deal. But Kosovo agreed to recognize Israel in a separate U.S.-managed agreement that involved Serbia, Times of Israel reported.
"We want to widen the circle of peaceful diplomacy because it's in the interest of countries across the region and around the world for Israel to be treated like any other country," Blinken said during the Zoom meeting.
One of the ways that Blinken revealed to develop international ties with Israel was having the United States support the relationship between the nation and other Arab states. Citing Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's recent trip to Cairo, Blinken said it was the first time an Israel head of state visited Egypt in the last decade.
Blinken also said that the Biden administration will continue to encourage other countries to forge diplomatic relationships with Israel. The official argued it was in the best interests of countries in the region and worldwide to include Israel in global issues, Aljazeera reported.
Normalization Between Israel and Arab States
But the Biden administration previously noted that normalization between Israel and Arab states would not be considered as a substitute for peace between Israel and Palestine. Bu the agreements were seen as vexing by Palestinian leaders who considered last year's deal to be a "stab in the back."
During the Zoom meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid agreed with Blinken, saying that the Abraham Accords club was giving an open invitation to everyone who wanted to join. The deal came as Palestinian leaders said the agreements were made without first demanding the progression of a Palestinian state.
Some critics have also argued that former United States President Donald Trump supported Arab developing diplomatic ties with Israel while he ignored calls from the Palestinian people that called for statehood. Blinken, however, sought to reforge ties with the Palestinians which he considered to have been badly damaged under Trump's presidency.
The secretary of state said everyone must contribute to the development of the relationships and growing normalization. Blinken argued they could make tangible improvements in the lives of the Palestinian people as well and contribute to their long-standing goal of bringing peace to Israelis and Palestinians, The Jerusalem Post reported.