Tal Kelman (left) head of the Strategic Division of the IDF Planning Directorate, meets with Belkhir El Farouk, Inspector General of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces in Rabat, March 25, 2022. (Photo/IDF)
Tal Kelman (left) head of the Strategic Division of the IDF Planning Directorate, meets with Belkhir El Farouk, Inspector General of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces in Rabat, March 25, 2022. (Photo/IDF)

Israel to convene leaders from Abraham Accords nations, in a historic summit

Israel is convening a summit of the top diplomats of the United States and three of the four Arab countries that normalized relations under the Abraham Accords, a sign that ties are getting closer.

Yair Lapid, Israel’s foreign minister will meet with his counterparts from the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Bahrain during a two-day summit early next week, according to a tweet posted Friday by Israel’s foreign ministry. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also planning to attend.

The announcement came the same day that Israel announced a memorandum of understanding with Morocco on military cooperation after top Israeli military officers visited their counterparts in Morocco. The announcement, which the Israeli army posted in Arabic on Twitter, said that the sides discussed the possibility of joint military exercises.

The developments signaled the robustness of the Abraham Accords, brokered by the Trump administration in its last months and embraced by the Biden administration, one of the few areas of foreign policy agreement between the two presidencies.

Israel has over the years hosted individual leaders of Arab countries, often quietly, but never held a formal summit. The meeting comes at a time when at least three of the Middle East participants — Israel, the UAE and Bahrain — are profoundly wary of the Biden administration’s efforts to reenter the Iran nuclear deal.

The three countries fear a renewed deal will remove sanctions on Iran and enable its adventurism in the region; the Biden administration sees the deal, which former President Donald Trump abrogated in 2018, as the best means to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

The fourth country that normalized ties with Israel under the Abraham Accords, Sudan, is undergoing political turmoil.

Ron Kampeas

JTA D.C. bureau chief

JTA

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