The Biden administration will continue to build on the "successful efforts" of the previous administration to encourage additional countries to normalize ties with Israel, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday during a virtual event commemorating the first anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords. During the event, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said "this Abraham Accords club is open for new members".
Blinken presented the American plan for strengthening the Abraham Accords, a plan that does not include American pressure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Blinken said "First, we’ll help foster Israel’s growing ties with Bahrain, with Morocco, with the United Arab Emirates – as well as with Sudan, which has also signed the Abraham Accords, and Kosovo, which established ties with Israel at the beginning of the year."
"Second, we’ll work to deepen Israel’s longstanding relationships with Egypt and Jordan," Blinken said, and in this context noted the visit to Egypt earlier in the week by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to meet with President Al-Sisi.
"And third, we will encourage more countries to follow the lead of the Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco. We want to widen the circle of peaceful diplomacy, because it’s in the interests of countries across the region and around the world for Israel to be treated like any other country."
Blinken expressed his view that normalization between Israel and Arab countries benefits the Palestinians, saying "we all must build on these relationships and growing normalization to make tangible improvements in the lives of Palestinians, and to make progress toward the longstanding goal of advancing a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians."
The Al Jazeera network reported that during the virtual event, top officials from Morocco, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates praised growing ties with Israel and expressed gratitude for the U.S. role in this context.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid declared that "this Abraham Accords club is open for new members", and expressed hope that additional countries will follow suit in the new era of cooperation and friendship.