Israel’s normalisation with Arab states
Israel hosts a summit from Sunday of top diplomats from the United States and three Arab states — the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco — with which it has normalised ties since 2020.
srael hosts a summit from Sunday of top diplomats from the United States and three Arab states — the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco — with which it has normalised ties since 2020.
Here is a recap of Israel’s US-brokered rapprochement with the Arab world:
– Accords with UAE, Bahrain –
On September 15, 2020, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain sign the “Abraham Accords” with Israel.
The two Gulf monarchies become the first Arab countries to recognise the Jewish state since Egypt and Jordan, in bilateral peace deals struck in 1979 and 1994 respectively.
“After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” then US president Donald Trump says from the White House lawn at the signing.
srael’s then prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls the day a “pivot of history”.
The Palestinians condemn the agreements as a “stab in the back”.
– Morocco breakthrough –
Morocco normalises ties with Israel on December 10 in a diplomatic quid pro quo that sees Washington back Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region.
– Sudan follows suit –
Sudan’s transitional government signs the Abraham Accords on January 6, 2021 agreeing to normalise ties with Israel and simultaneously obtains financial aid from the US.
The signature comes several weeks after Khartoum was removed from Washington’s “state sponsors of terrorism” blacklist.
– Investments –
The UAE announces on March 11, 2021 the creation of a $10-billion investment fund for strategic sectors in Israel.
Under the normalisation process, numerous accords in the areas of tourism, aviation and finance are struck.
– Embassies –
srael’s first embassy in the Gulf is inaugurated in the UAE on June 29, 2021 by its Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
On July 14, the UAE opens an embassy in Tel Aviv.
At the end of September, Lapid opens an Israeli embassy in Bahrain.
n November, the UAE and Bahrain carry out their first joint naval manoeuvres with Israel.
– Morocco deals –
On November 24, Morocco and Israel conclude a security accord during a visit to Rabat of Defence Minister Benny Gantz.
The accord, the first of its kind with an Arab country according to Israel, will facilitate Morocco’s purchase of Israeli military technologies.
Algeria, which in August severed diplomatic relations with Rabat, says it is being targeted by the Gantz visit.
– Historic meetings –
On December 12-13, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett carries out the first official visit by an Israeli prime minister to Abu Dhabi, where he meets Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
n late January 2022, Israeli President Isaac Herzog visits the Emirates.
– Defence accord with Bahrain –
On February 3, Israel signs a defence agreement with Bahrain, its first such deal with a Gulf country.
Gantz says the deal covers intelligence, procurement and joint training.
On the 14-15, Bennett meets in Bahrain with King Hamad and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, who is also prime minister.
– First direct flight –
On March 13, a Royal Air Maroc Boeing takes off from the economic capital Casablanca bound for Tel Aviv, in the first direct Moroccan flight to Israel since the normalisation.
On the 23rd, Morocco’s industry minister and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries sign a memorandum of understanding in Rabat on aerospace cooperation.