The Biden administration is laying the groundwork for a renewed push to encourage more Arab countries to sign accords with Israel and working to strengthen existing deals, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
The embrace of the so-called Abraham Accords is a rare carryover of a signature Trump administration policy by President Joe Biden and other Democrats, noted the report.
The Biden administration saw significant prospects of several other Arab governments signing accords soothing and normalizing relations with Israel. US officials have declined to publicly identify the countries they regard as promising prospects.
The recent 11-day war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers has complicated US-backed diplomacy for new accords, according to AP.
The report also said that the Biden administration is considering appointing a former US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, to a Mideast role that would marshal and potentially expand the country-by-country accords between Israel and Mideast governments.
US officials also are working to encourage more business, education and other ties among the four Arab states and Israel. They hope visible success there will also promote the bilateral accords in the region, at the same time the US works to advance resolution of the Israel-Palestinian-Arab conflict.
Wednesday’s report is significant, given that the Washington Free Beacon reported last week that the Biden State Department appears to be distancing itself from the Abraham Accords.
The report said that the State Department discourages employees from referring to the peace agreements by its official name and has erased the name from a wide array of official State Department communications. It added that the State Department prefers to use the term “normalization agreements”.
President Joe Biden last month spoke by phone with United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and stressed the strategic importance of the normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said shortly after he took office that the Biden administration supports the Abraham Accords.
“We think that Israel normalizing relations with its neighbors and other countries in the region is a very positive development, and so we applauded them. We hope that there may be an opportunity to build on them in the coming months and years ahead,” he said at the time.