The Prime Minister last night reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the Abraham Accords “and all they represent” at a major diplomatic reception to honour the agreement between the UAE, Israel, Morocco and Bahrain.
Rishi Sunak spoke at the event, which was organised by UK Abraham Accords Group, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and ELNET UK. He told the audience, made up of 250 Parliamentary, Diplomatic and Interfaith representatives: “Today we send a clear message about our commitment to the Accords and all they represent. The Accords have kickstarted a new era of relations in trade, tourism, security and more. This would have been impossible just a few years ago, but it does show how we can transform peace and stability in the region. The UK is committed to working with you all to take this initiative from strength to strength.”
The central London event was attended by key representatives of all the Abraham Accords Countries: Reem Alhashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation; Zayed Alzayani, Bahrain Minister of State for Industry and Commerce, Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely, UAE Ambassador Mansoor Abulhoul, Bahrain Ambassador Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa and Moroccan Ambassador Hakim Hajoui.
UAE Ambassador Mansoor Abulhoul said: “The Abraham Accords have been transformational for the UAE and the wider region. Since its signing, we have witnessed a sharp increase in trade and economic cooperation between the UAE and Israel across many sectors, including energy, healthcare, technology and space. We have also seen fruitful collaborations in areas such as sports, culture and education. Ultimately, the Accords have had a significant impact on the next generation in both our countries, showcasing the importance of dialogue in creating economic and social opportunities for our peoples that will strengthen peace, prosperity and security across the region.”
Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely said: “Together with our Arab friends and neighbours, we are building a new regional architecture based on technology, security, religious tolerance, social progress and economic growth benefitting future generations.”
Bahraini Ambassador Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Khalifa said: I am delighted to join friends and colleagues as we recognise the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords, and look ahead to how all our countries, their peoples and the wider region can benefit from this historic opportunity to build peace, prosperity and opportunity.
Moroccan Ambassador Hakim Hajoui said: “Because of the unique and historic relationship between Morocco and its Jewish community, the resumption of the diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel in the end of 2020 was a natural step, a step of conviction as stated by His Majesty the King.”
The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, Chair of the UK Abraham Accords Group, said: “The Abraham Accords were a bold and visionary step towards peace in the Middle East. On the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords, we are impressed by the spirit of coexistence that is being fostered in Bahrain, Israel, Morocco, and the UAE between religions, cultures, and nations. I am very pleased the British Prime Minister, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, joined us at the event this evening to show his support for the Abraham Accords, and I am confident the UK can play an important role in expanding the Accords and that our organisation can continue to contribute to this aim.”
Addressing the ambassadors, Joan Ryan, the Executive Director of the European Leadership Network United Kingdom, said: “We in the UK, and across Europe, have a significant role to play in supporting the Accords and their expansion through the normalisation of relationships, for the benefit of all.
“Indeed, we at ELNET work to strengthen relationships between the UK and Israel in order to promote peace and stability in the Middle East.”
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl presented awards to the ambassadors “for their achievements towards advancing the Abraham Accords” as engraved on a special plaque, created by sculptor Arik Levy.
Marie said: “As we reflect on the last two years, it would be easy to see these developments as inevitable, and natural. However, we cannot forget the bravery and leadership that has been displayed by the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Israel, the Kingdom of Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates in the taking of these steps. These agreements have not happened overnight. It took diligence, vision, and an unwavering passion for a better future for their peoples and the region. For that, we thank you.”
Board of Deputies Senior Vice-President and Chair of the International Division David Mendoza-Wolfson closed the event with a vote of thanks to all who participated.
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