Israel has announced that it will host a “historic summit” from Sunday, March 27, 2022, comprising top Diplomats from the United States and three Arab States with which it has normalised ties.
The Foreign Ministry made this declaration on Friday, March 25, 2022, that “At the invitation of Foreign Minister ,Yair Lapid, this upcoming Sunday and Monday… a historic diplomatic summit will be held in Israel”.
Without giving further details, the Foreign Ministry said a series of diplomatic meetings would be attended by US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and his Counterparts from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Morocco.
The UAE forged diplomatic ties with Israel in 2020 under a series of US-brokered deals known as the Abraham Accords. Bahrain and Morocco followed suit, while Sudan also agreed to normalise ties with Israel although it is yet to finalise a deal.
The agreements, which reached under Former US President, Donald Trump, broke with decades of Arab consensus, that there would be no relations with Israel while the Palestinian issues remain unresolved. But the Arab countries revealed that they are motivated by the economic benefits of ties with Israel.
Reason for the upcoming talks
The upcoming talks came as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a conflict that has sparked wider security concerns and sent oil and food prices soaring in the last four weeks.
It also follows a three-way summit hosted by Egypt on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at the Red Sea Resort of Sharm El-Sheikh between Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett and the UAE’s ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, after decades of enmity and conflict. Then, Jordan followed suit in 1994.
It is not immediately known where the top diplomats would meet in Israel. But the talks are being organised to coincide with a regional tour by Blinken due to begin on Saturday, March 26, 2022.
US State Department talks
The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, is also due to hold talks with the Israeli Premier before meeting Palestinian Leader, Mahmud Abbas at his Ramallah Headquarters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Blinken is also due to visit Algeria and Morocco at a time when the region is reeling from the backlash of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“We know this pain is keenly felt in the Middle East and North Africa, where most countries import at least half of their wheat”, of which the majority comes from Ukraine, State Department Acting Assistant Secretary, Yael Lempert told reporters in Washington.
The US State Department also added that while Mr. Blinken is in Morocco, he is also due to meet the UAE’s ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. Blinken’s visit also came amid Israeli efforts to mediate a solution to the war in Ukraine which has left both sides with heavy losses and shows no signs of lessening.
It also came as the United States is close to reaching an agreement with Iran to restore the 2015 accord limiting Tehran’s Nuclear Development Programme in return for removing sanctions on the country.