The United States is working to expand normalization agreements between Israel and the Arab countries, known as the Abrahamic Agreements, and hopes that restoring such ties will spur progress on the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. could be extended, senior State Department officials said on Tuesday.
In a briefing with reporters previewing US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meetings with his Israeli and Emirati counterparts on Wednesday, officials reiterated that the Abrahamic Agreements were not a substitute for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.
A senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “We continue to welcome economic cooperation between Israel and all countries in the region. We hope normalization will continue to advance progress on the Israeli-Palestinian track.” can be taken advantage of.”
Blinken will first meet separately with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the State Department on Wednesday. He will then host a first-of-its-kind tripartite meeting with both of them.
The leaders of Israel, the UAE and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords at the White House last September. The following month, Israel and Sudan announced that they would normalize relations, and Morocco established diplomatic relations with Israel in December, after US President Joe Biden defeated his predecessor Donald Trump in the election.
Palestinian officials said they felt they were betrayed by their Arab brothers into making deals with Israel without seeking progress toward the creation of a Palestinian state. Until last year, only two Arab states – Egypt and Jordan – had full ties with Israel.
US officials did not explain exactly how Washington aimed to use the normalization agreements as a tool to make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
“The Biden administration has started with a clear commitment to a two-state solution. We move forward with that commitment. We want to move forward as much as we can,” said one of the US officials.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a nationalist over a cross-partisan coalition, opposes a Palestinian state.
US officials said the three countries would also set up two new working groups at the meeting, with one group focusing on religious coexistence and the other on water and energy issues.
“These working groups will seek to realize the promise of engaging with important US partners in the region and finding new ways to solve old problems in Israel and the United Arab Emirates, but not across the region,” said one of the US officials.
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