One of the greatest world challenges of our time, without a doubt, has been the pursuit of peace in the Middle East. Although we have seen progress at various times, lasting, concrete peace has eluded world leaders, and its attainment has eclipsed administrations. The recent Abraham Accords Peace Agreement is a significant step in bringing this important part of our world closer together, and it is worthy of commendation.
On September 15, 2020, the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement was signed at the White House ushering in normalized diplomatic, commercial, security and other relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. This followed the August 13, 2020, announcement of Israel and the UAE’s agreement on full normalized relations and the September 11, 2020, announcement that Bahrain also agreed to normalize relations with Israel. Through the agreements, the UAE and Bahrain joined Egypt and Jordan in increasing the number of Arab countries with full diplomatic ties with Israel to four. The UAE and Bahrain are also the first of the Gulf Arab states to formalize relations with Israel.
I joined 55 Senate colleagues in introducing S.Res. 709, a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the agreements between Israel and the UAE and Israel and Bahrain to establish full diplomatic relations are historic achievements. The resolution:
Congratulates Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on reaching these historic agreements;
Encourages other Arab nations to establish full relations with Israel with the vision of realizing full peace between Israel and all of its Arab neighbors; and
Reaffirms the Senate’s strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states—a democratic Jewish State of Israel and a viable, democratic Palestinian state—living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition.
The United States has had a central role in this effort. As we recognized in the resolution, “these agreements build upon the decades-long leadership of the United States in helping Israel broker peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and promoting peace talks between Israel and Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians.” Furthermore, opening ties between these three countries can not only spur economic growth and closer people-to-people relations in the region, but also help advance peace between Israel and other Arab nations.
When we think about all that is going on in our world and country, we cannot let the positive steps get buried. I commend the Administration for being a conduit for normalizing relations between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain. I hope this accord will broaden opportunities for negotiations in the region and be a means for full peace in the Middle East.