Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: ‘Historic’ Arab-Israeli diplomacy

Out here in the Negev desert, the Israeli government says, history is being made. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is hosting for the first time on Israeli soil the foreign ministers of four Arab countries that now have close ties with the Jewish state — a new reality for a region realigned in recent years, especially by the threat from Iran. (https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/blinken-attends-historic-israeli-arab-summit-amid-iran/story?id=83701822) U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will join them for what Israel calls the Negev summit, but only after an evening of meetings with Palestinian leadership, including President Mahmoud Abbas, and civil society Sunday. While these new Arab-Israeli ties have been heralded for bringing peace and stability, they have left the Palestinians behind and done little to address the decades-old tensions there. Monday’s meeting brings together Israel and the U.S. with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco — all members of the new accords. Egypt, which established ties with Israel over 40 years ago in a U.S.-brokered deal, will also attend, although Jordan, which established ties in a 1994 U.S. deal, is not attending. Sudan, which was part of the accords, will not either, after a military coup last fall derailed its transition to a civilian-led democracy. Monday’s meetings is a delicate dance for Blinken — seeking to embrace the peaceful face of the Abraham Accords, while tempering the growing anti-Iran alliance as his team tries to complete a renewed Iran nuclear deal.

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