U.S. hopes Abraham Accords will ease Israeli-Palestinian tensions - US officials have said
Senior State Department officials said on Tuesday that the United States is working to strengthen normalisation agreements between Israel and Arab nations, known as the Abraham Accords, and hopes that restoring such ties may be leveraged to accelerate progress on the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.
In a briefing with reporters ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken's meetings with his Israeli and Emirati counterparts on Wednesday, officials reiterated that the Abraham Accords were not merely oblivion to the two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.
"We continue to welcome the close cooperation between Israel and all nations in the region in terms of economic development." We hope that normalisation can be leveraged to advance progress on the Israeli-Palestinian track, a senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.
Blinken will first meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan separately at the State Department on Wednesday. He will then host a trilateral meeting with both of them, the first of its kind.
The leaders of Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain signed the Abraham Agreements at the White House last September. In the following month, Israel and Sudan announced they would normalize relations, and Morocco established diplomatic relations with Israel in December, after U.S. President Joe Biden defeated his predecessor Donald Trump in the election.
Palestinian officials said they felt betrayed by their arab kin for reaching agreements with Israel without first requesting progress toward the establishment of a Palestinian state. Only two Arab states - Egypt and Jordan --- had established close relations with Israel until last year.
The U.S. officials did not elaborate on how Washington would use the normalisation agreements as a means to make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
"The Biden administration has begun with a clear commitment to the two-state solution. We will continue to honor that promise. We seek to advance as much as we can, when we may, as best we possibly can," said one of the United States' top officials.
Naftali Bennett, Israeli Prime Minister and a nationalist positioned in splintering coalitions, opposes Palestinian statehood.
The three countries will also be setting up two new working groups at the meeting, according to U.S. officials, with one group focusing on religious coexistence and the other on water and energy issues.
"These working groups will seek to fulfill that promise to link up to significant U.S. partners in the region and find new ways to solve old problems together, in Israel and the UAE, but also across the globe," said one of the United States officials.