JERUSALEM, Israel –Three years ago, the world changed as Israel and Arab Gulf States signed what is known as the Abraham Accords.
Earlier this month, Israel achieved another milestone in its relations with the Arab world when the government opened a permanent embassy in Manama, the capital of Bahrain.
At the ceremony, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen remarked, “In the Jewish religion, we have a blessing for celebrating historical events: She’hecheyanu, v’ki’imanu, v’higiyanu la’zman haZeh. (“Blessed are You, Lord our God, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.)”
On September 15, 2020, Israel signed agreements on the White House Lawn with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain under then-President Donald Trump.
Within months, Sudan and Morocco also signed deals with Israel.
In Bahrain, Cohen hailed the significance of the accords, saying, “The Middle Eastern countries have entered a new age of cooperation, stability, prosperity, and peace as a result of those peace and normalization deals made by brave leaders.”
He continued, “The first thing that comes to mind when speaking about the relations between Israel and Bahrain, is our remarkable potential in trade, security, people to people, and more. These provide us all with great optimism regarding the future and what we are going to achieve.”
Cohen and his Bahraini counterpart, Abdullatif Bin Rashid al-Zayani, discussed regional security issues, closer ties in business and commerce, and expanding the circle of peace.
Al-Zayani noted, “Today with the presence of Minister Eli Cohen, the foreign minister of Israel, we witness yet another remarkable milestone in the growing relationship between our two nations. This relationship – which seemed unimaginable just few years ago – is a testament to our shared determination to promote harmony and cooperation.”
In the last 3 years, Israel has signed more than 50 agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.
Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum helped start the U.A.E.-Israel Business Council and the Gulf-Israel Women’s Forum, and this week Cohen announced she would fill a new position in the Foreign Ministry as special envoy for innovation.
Hassan-Nahoum told CBN News, “This year we’re looking at finishing the year over three billion dollars in trade. between the U.A.E. and Israel, which is, of course, the biggest market that we’re working right now. But you can see also Bahrain is really kicking off, and Morocco.”
She pointed out that the economic progress with the Arab world isn’t confined only to the Abraham Accords participants. “What’s also very interesting is that countries – Arab countries that we’ve had peace with, like Egypt and Jordan – for years, Egypt, you know, trade has tripled, and Jordan trade has doubled, which just shows that this, the Abrahamic Accords have opened the gateway to a new Middle East, really focusing on prosperity and mutual interests.
Hassan-Nahoum said Israel hopes that with U.S. help, Saudi Arabia may soon join the Abraham Accords, and after that others, such as Indonesia and Malaysia might also choose to take part.