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In Gulf, Herzog says Israeli leaders must push to expand Abraham Accords

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

President Isaac Herzog lands in Abu Dhabi, where he is greeted by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed, December 5, 2022. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog lands in Abu Dhabi, where he is greeted by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed, December 5, 2022. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Israeli leaders must continue to work to expand the Abraham Accords, President Isaac Herzog says as he prepared to meet his Emirati counterpart in Abu Dhabi.

“This visit was an opportunity to take stock after two years of the Abraham Accords,” Herzog tells Israeli journalists who joined him for his two-day trip to Bahrain and the UAE.

“It started as an agreement, turned into ties between states, and now the two countries want to upgrade the agreements and are working to add more countries,” he says.

“This requires Israel’s leadership to understand that this challenge continues,” he says, as polls show declining support for the accords in all three of Israel’s new Arab partners.

In a message likely meant to allay concerns in Manama and Abu Dhabi, Herzog stresses that “there is great importance to the Abraham Accords.”

Turning to the Bahrainis, he says that their approach is “to work toward peace and not conflict. The Bahrainis believe deeply in ties with the Jewish community.”

“This shows the massive change in the paradigm in the dialogue between the states and the peoples,” he says.

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