US working on more normalization between ‘Israel’ and Arab states, says Israeli official

The Biden administration is actively involved in encouraging more Arab states to establish diplomatic relations with the occupation state of ‘Israel’, according to Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

“They fully adopted the Abraham Accords and are eager to expand them,” Ashkenazi said on Thursday in a briefing. “There is going to be someone appointed to be responsible for doing so.”

The Biden administration is considering appointing former US ambassador to the occupation state, Dan Shapiro, as a Middle East envoy responsible for handling the continuation of the so-called Abraham Accords, The Washington Post reported last week.

Ashkenazi said that the Biden administration does not use the Trump-era name “Abraham Accords,” calling them “normalization agreements.”

In a briefing summing up his time in the Foreign Ministry, as a new occupation government is expected to be sworn in on Sunday with Yair Lapid taking his place, Ashkenazi said he is in daily contact with Washington.

Ashkenazi would not say which countries were likely to be next to establish full relations with ‘Israel,’ but before the US President Joe Biden came into office, there was progress with Saudi Arabia, Oman, Mauritania and others, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Ashkenazi also said he was in contact with several of his counterparts in countries with which ‘Israel’ does not have formal ties.

Relations with Abraham Accords countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco – are on a “super-fast track,” Ashkenazi said, adding that it has continued after they “passed the test in the framework of Operation Guardian of the Walls.”

Ashkenazi also pointed to 29 agreements already signed, as well as four new diplomatic delegations. Trade between ‘Israel’ and those countries has already reached NIS 1 billion, he said.

Last year, ‘Israel’ and Arab countries, including the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco normalized ties, known as the Abraham Accords, brokered by Washington.

Palestinians condemned the normalization agreements, saying they encouraged Israel’s denial of their rights and do not serve the Palestinian cause.

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