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Top US diplomat outlines steps to ‘broaden the circle of normalization’ that does not include peace with Palestinians.
The Biden administration will build on the “successful efforts” of its Donald Trump-led predecessor to encourage more countries to normalize ties with Israel, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.
Speaking at a virtual event on Friday in honor of the standardization agreement between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – which later included Morocco, Sudan and Kosovo – Blinken outlined the steps Washington will take to the agreement.
The plan did not include attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“First, we will help build Israel’s growing ties with Bahrain, with Morocco, with the United Arab Emirates and with Sudan, which is also a signatory to the Abraham Accords, and Kosovo, which started the year,” said Blinken. .
Blinken quoted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s recent visit to Cairo? – the first official trip by an Israeli head of state to Egypt in 10 years.
“Third, we will encourage more countries to follow the example of the Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco,” said Blinken.
“We want to widen the circle of peaceful diplomacy because it is in the interest of countries across the region and around the world that Israel be treated like any other country.”
The Biden administration has previously said that normalization between Israel and the Arab states “isno replacement for Israeli-Palestinian peace”.
The normalization deals have annoyed the Palestinian leadership, who called the deals a “stab in the backto the Palestinian cause.
But Blinken suggested on Friday that normalization could benefit Palestinians.
“We all need to build on these relationships and the increasing normalization to make tangible improvements in the lives of Palestinians and to make progress toward the long-standing goal of promoting a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians “, he said.
Yet normalization has had minimal effect on the course of the conflict, as Israel continues to do expand his settlements in the West Bank and maintains its blockade in Gaza while acting under demolition of houses and forced removal against Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
During the virtual event, top officials from Morocco, Bahrain and the UAE praised the growing ties with Israel and expressed gratitude for the US role in sponsoring the agreements.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the standardization “club is open to new members”.
“One of our goals, our common goals, is to ensure that other countries will follow suit and join us in this course and in this new era of cooperation and friendship,” he said.
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