Sunday, December 27, 2020

Will Biden Administration End the Abraham Accords?


Reuven Azar, head of the foreign policy division at the National Security Council and dipolmatic adviser to the prime minister, is currently in isolation after returning from the historic trip to Morocco as part of the political and economic agreements were signed between the two countries.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, the senior adviser clarifies that this is a special relationship, and that the agreements constitute a kind of 'renewal of contact.' "Although this was done within the framework of the 'Abraham Accords,'" he explained, "the Moroccans feel that in fact the connection has never been severed and that they are pioneers of the [Arab world's] connection with Israel."

Azar noted that many members of the Israeli delegation felt great excitement during the visit because of their personal or family connection to the Morocco Jewish community and emphasized the special excitement he saw on the face of Israel's National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat. "I've been working with him for two and a half years and I've never seen him get so excited. It was a special milestone for him."

Azar said that Ben Shabbat's speech in Moroccan was broadcast on Prime Time on all Moroccan networks and that many people told him that they were very excited about it.

"The connection that the Ben Shabbat, was able to create is very special," he said.

Addressing the agreements themselves, Azar said that they are a direct result of Prime Minister Netanyahu's policies to reach "peace through strength and power" as well as the Trump Administration's "thinking outside the box."

"There is regional cooperation," he added. "Once you bring the allies of the United States closer together, it creates added value for the states and for the United States and also transmits power in the face of opponents who threaten stability."

Are there concerns about the change in the US Administration?

"Obviously there are always concerns," Azar replied, "but the trend is a clear trend and we expect that under every administration there will be American support for the expansion of the normalization of between Israel and the Arab states."

However, Azar added that the change of government in the United States and the Biden administration's policy toward Iran may put pressure on countries to join the Abraham Accords. "It could work both ways," he explained, "because as the fear grows, many countries may see Israel as a bulwark against threats in the region. So that does not mean the process will stop but it may intensify. On the other hand, if there is a situation where the Iranians become very strong and threatening as bullies and no one will stop them, the fear may increase."

What's next for the Abraham Accords?

"There are other countries that are quite jealous of what is happening and would like to jump on the bandwagon," Azar says. "Each of them has its own considerations. I think there is potential for the process to continue."

Azar added that there are many agreements now on paper, and that the change will come when the practical agreements are implemented on the ground. "Once they see that things are implemented, and economic prosperity takes place there will be a greater temptation to join and jump on the bandwagon."



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