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abraham accords

US Senate, House establish bipartisan Abraham Accords caucus to strengthen existing agreements and create new ones

Sen. Lankford extols agreements, quotes scripture: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan wave from the Truman Balcony at the White House after they participated in the signing of the Abraham Accords (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Members of the United States Senate and Congress announced the establishment of a bipartisan caucus comprised of both senators and representatives who will work to advance the historic Abraham Accords and build on their success.

The caucus will work to strengthen the Abraham Accords, encourage partnerships among the existing members and expand “the agreement to include countries that do not currently have diplomatic relations with Israel,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., announced in a press release today.

“We will seek peace through expanding and encouraging the Accords and set the example for other nations who desire peace. Matthew 5:9 importantly reminds us that ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,’” Lankford said.

Democrats Jacky Rosen and Cory Booker joined Lankford and Republican Joni Ernst in announcing the launch of the Senate Abraham Accords Caucus.

Booker emphasized the importance of the U.S. role in normalizing relations between Israel and several Arab states and promoting economic opportunities and the “prospect of peace in the region.”

“The United States must continue to play an active role in fostering further dialogue and partnership between Israel and other Arab countries, and I look forward to doing just that as part of this bipartisan group,” he said.

In October, the Israeli Knesset established its own bipartisan caucus, the Abraham Accords Caucus co-chaired by Ofir Akunis of the Likud party and Ruth Wasserman Lande of the Blue and White partyboth congratulated the United States in following suit.

“The U.S. and Israeli caucuses will work together with Abraham Accords member countries to advance the agreements in various fields, while also working towards achieving peace agreements with additional countries,” Akunis and Wasserman Lande said in a statement on Tuesday.

ALL ISRAEL NEWS covered the establishment of this new Israeli caucus attended by former White House Advisor Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump, daughter of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Akunis credited the Israeli caucus for inspiring other “legislators in parliaments around the world” to help advance the expansion of the normalization agreements. 

“They are looking very closely at the Abraham Accords and want to help take part in their implementation and expansion,” he said. “I am confident that many more parliaments around the world will establish similar caucuses. We look forward to working together with a shared goal of bringing peace and prosperity to the peoples of our region and beyond."

Wasserman Lande called the Abraham Accords “a high-quality asset and a game-changer for Israel” and said the Israeli caucus is “working on improving existing relations and creating additional platforms for long-term cooperation that will serve as anchors for future generations.”

“Through the Abraham Accords, we must also leverage our existing peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan,” she said. “I deeply cherish the support from the United States and offer my congratulations on the establishment of a sister-caucus in America, with whom we can advance further frameworks for regional cooperation."

The Abraham Accords were signed on Sept. 15, 2020 initially between Israel with the United Arab Emirate and Bahrain. Since then, Sudan and Morocco have also joined. The agreements have served to defuse tensions between Israel and other Muslim nations that have not signed onto the agreement – such as Saudi Arabia – and other nations – such as Egypt and Jordan – which already had normalization agreements with Israel. 

“It was a great day for peace when I joined President Trump at the White House and leaders from Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates more than a year ago as they signed the historic Abraham Accords,” said Lankford. “When Morocco and Sudan joined the Accords a few weeks later, the concept of the Abraham Accords demonstrated that reconciliation among even more nations in the region was possible. I stand with Israel and for lasting peace in the Middle East, alongside my colleagues, as we launch the Abraham Accords Caucus.”

Ernst said that she is looking forward to working with her Democrat and Republican colleagues to promote peace and prosperity and the further America’s partnership with Israel.

The bicameral Abraham Accords Caucus is chaired by House representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), David Trone (D-MD), Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Brad Schneider (D-IL). 

“The bipartisan, bicameral Abraham Accords Caucus will provide a unique opportunity for world leaders to come together in our common pursuit of creating a better safer, and more prosperous world for our children and grandchildren,” said Rodgers. 

Several organizations pledged to support the caucus including the Atlantic Council, the Abraham Accords Peace Institute, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah—The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, the US-Israel Education Association, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Israel Policy Forum, CUFI Action, the Jewish Federations of North America and B’nai B’rith International.

According to Lankford’s press release, “The Senate Abraham Accords Caucus encourages partnerships between the U.S., Israel, Arab states and other relevant countries and regions. The Caucus also provides congressional leadership to strengthen and expand the Abraham Accords by promoting the benefits of normalizing relations with Israel.”

On a practical level, the caucus will: 

  • Seek to incentivize expansion of the Abraham Accords to include countries that do not currently have diplomatic relations with Israel;

  • Highlight the importance of the Abraham Accords for achieving lasting peace in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbors, including a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that ensures mutual recognition and guarantees that Israelis and Palestinians live side by side with freedom, security, and prosperity;

  • Engage partner countries, including European allies, in multilateral efforts to promote the Abraham Accords;

  • Foster religious freedom and understanding throughout the Middle East through interfaith and intercultural dialogue between Israel and Abraham Accords countries;

  • Support and work to enable U.S. Government investments through the International Development Finance Corporation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in cooperative projects in furtherance of the Abraham Accords;

  • Serve as a forum for conversations and connections among leaders in Abraham Accords countries as well as Egypt, Jordan, and among the Palestinian people in the areas of energy security, water infrastructure, biomedicine, cybersecurity and emerging technologies, with the intent of furthering sustainable partnerships, as well as economic development and cooperation in the region.

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Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

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