Biden to continue 'seeking progress' on creation of Palestinian state

'Much progress has been made already, the Abraham Accords represent not an end, but a beginning,' says US diplomat Yael Lempert.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

ג'ו ביידן
ג'ו ביידן
צילום: רויטרס

Yael Lempert, acting assistant secretary at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, spoke Tuesday about the Abraham Accords, emphasizing that they represent "not an end, but a beginning.

"When I first started focusing on the Middle East nearly 30 years ago, I would have been hard pressed to imagine that I would one day address this collection of countries," she said, referring to Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Israel.

"That was a heady period, including in 1994 when the Wadi Araba treaty was signed – I visited Jordan traveling from Israel shortly thereafter, and was truly awed at the tremendous opportunities and potential that had been unlocked.

"Similarly, what your countries have done creates the opportunity for nothing short of transformation. And it demonstrates to the world what’s possible when countries put aside their differences and build bridges."

Lempert added: "Already, people across the region are benefiting from the Abraham Accords. ... While much progress has been made already, the Abraham Accords represent not an end, but a beginning."

"The Biden Administration made clear from the very outset that it will continue working to expand normalization efforts and bring new countries into the fold.

"These efforts, led by Secretary Blinken, Counselor Chollet, and others, working with our partners represented in this room, are already bearing fruit. In August, Israel and Morocco announced that they would be upgrading their relationship by opening embassies. Bahrain’s first Ambassador to Israel will present his credentials today, and Israel named its future Ambassador to Bahrain earlier this month.

"And this October, Israel will participate in Expo 2020 in Dubai alongside the United States in the largest public diplomacy event this year. We look forward to building on this progress in the months and years ahead."

Lempert noted the date, "one day after 28th anniversary of the Oslo Accords."

"It reminds us of the work that was done by peacemakers before us and of the work still yet ahead," she said. "In addition to supporting normalization, the Biden administration will continue to seek progress on creating the conditions for a viable two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians."

"Though efforts to advance an Israeli-Palestinian peace have faced many setbacks, the agreements we are celebrating today prove that the past does not dictate the future. As Israel and other countries in the region join together in a common effort to build bridges, I am confident we will find new opportunities to make tangible progress towards a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

"By making Israel more secure and opening new channels for constructive dialogue and diplomacy, even more new possibilities can arise. By lowering barriers, we’re empowering people on both sides to dream up their own possibilities," she said.