The Abraham Accords are a joint statement reached between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United States. The term subsequently became used to refer to agreements between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain. Signed on September 15, 2020, the Abraham Accords became the first public normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that of Jordan in 1994.
Through the peace and normalization agreements between Israel, UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, the number of Arab states with diplomatic ties to Israel raised from two to six. Building on the success of prior agreements between Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, the Accords encourage friendly relations based on shared interests and commitment to a better future for the region.
The agreements are focused on transforming the region, enhancing Israel’s security, generating economic opportunities for neighboring Arab states, and advancing U.S. national security interests. The Abraham Accords have already made historic advancements in shifting the dynamic of the MENA region and are an incredibly important diplomatic initiative to maintaining and strengthening peace and stability in the Middle East.
Since the signing of the Accords, the UAE and Bahrain have demonstrated a full commitment to regional security collaboration with Israel. In addition, there has been blossoming relationships within the private sector and civil society. Most recently, in the spirit of the Abraham Accords, leaders from Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, the United States, and the UAE convened in Israel for the Negev Summit.
The historic summit resulted in an agreement to establish six working groups to strengthen several key regional issues, including: cooperation on national security, education, health, energy, food security, and tourism. Being the first time that Israel has hosted ministers from three Arab states simultaneously, the visit alone provides a sense of hope and possibility for future peace in the Middle East.
Nearly two years after the historic normalization agreements signed between the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and Israel, these countries are deepening diplomatic, business, and security ties. Trade topped $1.1bn in the first full year after the UAE and Israel established diplomatic relations. In 2021, Israel imported $771.5mn worth of goods from the UAE, up from $114.9mn in 2020. During the same period, the UAE imported $383.2mn in Israeli exports. Trade between Bahrain and Israel topped at $6.5mn in 2021, with zero trade in the two years prior. Trade with Morocco amounted to $41.6mn. With the goal of improving trade relations, Morocco and Israel signed an agreement in February aiming to boost trade and economic cooperation to $500mn in the next five years.
Building business bridges across the region has the ability to cement long-term relationships and increase prosperity throughout the Middle East. While there is great significance in the progress to date, there is massive potential to expand regional integration and cooperation. Our project aims to support the development of relationships in the Middle East and promote cooperation in the technology and energy sectors to facilitate better life standards for the citizens throughout the region.
Monday, October 17, 2022
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Registration & Light Breakfast
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Abraham Accords: Redefining Middle East Geopolitics
The Middle East is undergoing profound geopolitical change. In recent years, the concentration of power has gravitated toward Saudi Arabia. However, the Abraham Accords is changing the way the Arab world deals with interstate issues. While a win for Israel, this is a shift away from the hegemonic control of Saudi Arabia and toward more autonomy within the Gulf. However, the future of the Middle East is uncertain as multiple states have refused to normalize relations with Israel.
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Energy: A Source of Cooperation or Conflict for the Future?
As the world is attempting to pursue advancement in green energy sources, the Middle East is defined by a lack of cooperation due to political tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as countries in the Levant. However, the Middle East will continue to play an increasingly essential role in providing energy security and price stability for the world. The region has a huge potential to facilitate an accelerated transition to greener energy. The Gulf states are an important energy region today and will continue to be in the future through investment in modern, state-of-the-art technologies to produce and export clean energy. As several large-scale renewable energy projects are underway in the Middle East, can the Abraham Accords provide an opportunity for energy agreements in the region?
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Future of Tech in the Middle East: A New Digital Order
The Abraham Accords are contributing to a new digital order in the Middle East. There is an obvious tech and cyber element to the agreement between Israel and the UAE. Cooperation in tech has paved the way for an alliance between Israel and the UAE aimed at countering Iran. Since the signing of the Accords, the bilateral trade between Israel and the UAE has skyrocketed. To support future trade, a $10 billion UAE investment fund was established in Israel to develop the energy manufacturing, water, space, health care, and agritech sectors. The cooperation between Israel and the UAE has revealed the massive upsides for tech and cyber advancements in the region, and has opened the door for expanded cooperationand more countries to reap the benefits of technological breakthroughs.
Throughout the year, panel discussions will be organized to address important regional developments, success stories, challenges, and best ways forward.