Israel preparing Abraham Accords anniversary summit: reports
Preparations are reportedly underway for a four-way summit in September that will bring together Israel, the US, the UAE and Bahrain to mark one year since the signing of the so-called Abraham Accords.
Israeli state TV channel Kan 11 revealed that contacts to hold the summit began in recent weeks, which will witness high-level representation of the four countries.
The summit is expected to be organised in a maximum of three months.
While it is still not clear where the summit will be held, Kan 11 said Israel is interested in organising it either in the Bahraini capital, Manama, or the UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi, in a bid to push other Gulf countries to normalise ties with Israel.
The broadcaster added that many calls have been made in recent weeks in this regard by outgoing Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, in an effort to finalise everything for the planned summit.
"We will work to sign agreements with more countries in the region and beyond. It’s a process, it won’t happen in a day, but the Foreign Ministry will coordinate those efforts," Lapid said according to Israeli media.
The Emirati foreign ministry said in a tweet that the country’s Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed spoke Monday with his new Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, to congratulate him on his new role.
I had the great pleasure of speaking to the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates @ABZayed this evening and I look forward to working with him to build on the warm and unique relations between our two countries for the benefit of our peoples and the entire Middle East.— יאיר לפיד - Yair Lapid🟠 (@yairlapid) June 14, 2021
Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, also congratulated Lapid and the new Israeli premier, Naftali Bennett, on the formation on their coalition government, which won a vote of confidence Sunday.
The two Gulf states signed normalisation agreements with Israel – known as the Abraham Accords – under the auspices of the US in September last year, the first to happen with Arab states since Egypt and Jordan, in 1979 and 1994 respectively.
Other US-brokered deals took place later last year, with Sudan in October and Morocco in December.
In return, Sudan was lifted off the US’ blacklist for state-sponsored terror, while Morocco was promised the disputed Western Sahara by then US President Donald Trump.
The normalisation deals were universally rejected by Palestinian factions and triggered protests in Arab and Muslim-majority states.