The first anniversary of the Abrahamic accords
In these difficult times, it is natural to look for glimmers of hope and optimism. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to look that far. This week, we mark one year of the historic event in which Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed the peace accords brokered by the United States, known as the Abrahamic Accord.
The signing of the Agreements was a historic and decisive moment for the Middle East, which marked the start of a whole new chapter for the region. It is a decision to build together a future that will benefit all of our peoples.
More than that, the Abrahamic Accords represent a kind of revolutionary peace. It is a new paradigm that shifts from national leaders to all aspects of society and now thrives among people, societies and cultures.
These agreements have proven that Israel is an integral and permanent part of the Middle East and contributes significantly to the stability and prosperity of the region. The importance of connecting people cannot be understated.
As Foreign Minister Yair Lapid declared at the inauguration of the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi, “the agreements are signed by the leaders, but peace is made between the peoples”.
The benefits of peace cannot be denied. Since the first direct flights from Tel Aviv to Dubai (November 2020) and Abu Dhabi (April 2021), hundreds of thousands of Israeli tourists and businessmen have visited the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, connecting peoples and cultures like never before.
More than 55 agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are currently underway – half of them have already been signed and implemented. These agreements lay the foundations for practical cooperation in almost all areas, including: finance, communications, economy, culture, tourism, taxation, investment protection, freedom of movement, water , agriculture and energy.
Between January and July 2021, trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates jumped to $ 613.9 million [€524m] And that’s just the beginning. The enormous economic benefits of peace agreements quickly became evident, as all parties reaped the benefits of the fruits of peace.
All of these developments and many more have been accomplished in just one year. Given the constraints imposed by the global coronavirus pandemic over the past year, we can only imagine what the future holds.
Role of the EU?
A month ago, I arrived in Brussels as Israel’s new Ambassador to the EU and NATO. Prior to that, and for nearly five years, I was Director of the Middle East and Peace Process Division at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
My main mission was to establish Arab-Israeli contacts and relations, and I was fortunate enough to lead efforts to open Israeli embassies in Abu Dhabi, Manama and Rabat. I look forward to continuing the work of improving and strengthening Israel’s multilateral and bilateral relations in the Middle East, this time with the participation of the EU.
The EU can play a key role in the region by supporting trilateral projects, promoting its values, sponsoring people-to-people dialogue and promoting peace in the Middle East. The EU can join Israel and its moderate neighbors in writing a new page in the history books.
Israel believes in peace and aspires to peaceful relations with all of its neighbors.
The Middle East is our home, and we call on all countries in the region to recognize this fact and engage in dialogue with us. We believe that we can resolve the conflict and establish peaceful coexistence with our immediate neighbors, the Palestinians. The agreements pave the way for this goal and also serve to effectively consolidate moderate forces in the Middle East.
The Abrahamic Accords brought more than just glimmers of hope and optimism to the Middle East, they brought a new reality that will improve the well-being of our people and bring security and prosperity to all.