Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that the US would continue to push Arab states to normalize relations with Israel. This month marked the one-year anniversary of the signing of Trump administration-brokered agreements that normalized relations with Israel and the UAE, and Bahrain, known as the Abraham Accords.
Following the UAE, Morrocco also normalized with Israel. Sudan agreed with Israel to open relations, but Khartoum has been slow to establish diplomatic ties. “We will encourage more countries to follow the lead of the Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco,” Blinken said during a virtual meeting with the countries’ ministers.
While touted as peace deals, the Abraham Accords will lead to an influx of more US arms in the region and have failed to slow Israel’s de facto annexation of the West Bank through settlements and Israel’s brutality against the people of Gaza.
For agreeing to normalize with Israel, the UAE was awarded a $23 billion weapons deal that includes F-35 fighter jets that the Biden administration briefly paused but then decided to proceed with. For Morrocco, the US recognized Muskat’s sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region, another move President Biden will not reverse.
The Trump administration pressured Khartoum into normalizing with Israel by adding it as a condition to get Sudan removed from the US terror list. To be removed from the list, the US made Sudan pay $335 million in compensation to victims of the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that were carried out by al-Qaeda, even though Osama bin Laden was kicked out of Sudan in 1996. The Clinton administration bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan in response to the embassy attacks, something the US never even apologized for.
A major aspect of the Abraham Accords is to isolate Iran. According to Israeli media, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett floated the idea to President Biden of an anti-Iran NATO-style alliance in the Middle East that includes Israel and Arab states opposed to Iran. Earlier this year, there were reports that Israel was in talks with Bahrain, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia about the idea of an anti-Iran alliance.