The Biden administration is attempting to build on landmark accords that normalized relations between Israel and a handful of Arab or Muslim nations, but without leaving out the Palestinians, whose cause for statehood seems more distant than ever.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Wednesday hosted talks in Washington with his counterparts from Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Yair Lapid and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, respectively.
“We believe strongly that Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live safely, securely, with equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy, and we will continue our own efforts toward that end,” which in turn fosters creation of a Palestinian state, Blinken said in a news conference with Lapid and Abdullah.
The three diplomats also discussed Iran’s failure thus far to return to the international nuclear deal from which the Trump administration withdrew as other nations in the pact tried to keep it alive. Blinken said the “runway” for reviving the deal in a way that controls Iran’s enrichment of nuclear materials “is getting shorter and shorter.”
Lapid reiterated that if diplomacy fails with Iran, Israel is prepared with alternatives. Israel is believed to have carried out clandestine attacks on Iranian sites.
The agreement between Israel and the handful of Arab nations, known as the Abraham accords, was brokered a year ago during the Trump administration in what the former president often claimed to be his greatest diplomatic achievement. In addition to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain signed the agreement, followed by Sudan and Morocco, although their participation has been more limited.