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The Abraham Accords: Normalization Agreements Signed by Israel with the U.A.E., Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 April 2021

Joel Singer*
Affiliation:
Joel Singer served as Legal Adviser of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, previously as Director of the International Law Department of the Israel Defense Forces. Beginning shortly after the 1973 Yom Kippur War and for a span of almost 25 years, Singer was a member of Israeli delegations negotiating peace treaties and other agreements with all of Israel's Arab neighbors, including Egypt (the 1979 Israel–Egypt peace treaty), Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinians (the Israel–PLO Mutual Recognition Agreement and the Oslo Accords). Singer blogs on Israeli–Arab negotiations issues on his website: https://www.joelsinger.org.

Extract

On September 15, 2020, in a ceremony that took place on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain (Bahrain) Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani signed a trilateral document, called the “Abraham Accords Declaration,” a political declaration that called for the promotion of peace and cooperation in the Middle East. As referenced in the declaration, it was titled after the common patriarch Abraham, from whom the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, have descended. U.S. President Donald Trump added his signature as a witness to the Abraham Accords Declaration, as well as to two other, bilateral documents also signed in Washington on the same day, which are discussed below.

Type
International Legal Documents
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The American Society of International Law

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References

1 The text of the Abraham Accords Declaration is available on the U.S. Department of State website, https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Abraham-Accords-signed-FINAL-15-Sept-2020-508-1.pdf.

7 For the U.S. Department of State's Abraham Accords webpage, see: https://www.state.gov/the-abraham-accords/.

8 Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Arab Republic of Egypt 1979, 1138 U.N.T.S. 59 at 72; 18 I.L.M. 362 (1979).

9 Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace, 34 I.L.M 43 (1995).

10 42 U.N.T.S. 327.

11 42 U.N.T.S. 287.

12 32 I.L.M. 1525 (1993).

13 36 I.L.M. 551, 567 (1995).

14 See, e.g., Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Year in Review (1999), http://www.israel.org/MFA/AboutTheMinistry/Pages/Ministry%20of%20Foreign%20Affairs-%20The%20Year%20in%20Review.aspx.

15 In October 2000, following the outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada in the West Bank and Gaza (also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada), the Israeli offices in these Arab countries were closed and relations with Israel were suspended.

16 The Council of the League of Arab States adopted this initiative in its meeting at the Summit Level in Beirut (March 2002). The resolution is available at https://centerpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Arab-Peace-Initiative-Official-Translation.pdf.

17 For the text of the Khartoum resolutions, dated September 1, 1967, see the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: https://mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/the%20khartoum%20resolutions.aspx.

18 Egypt and Israel fought in 1948 (the First Arab–Israeli War), 1956 (the Suez or Sinai War), 1967 (the Six-Day War) and 1973 (the Yom Kippur War). Jordan and Israel fought in the 1948 and 1967 wars.

19 For the text of the Chile–Argentina agreement, see: https://www.un.org/Depts/los/LEGISLATIONANDTREATIES/PDFFILES/TREATIES/CHL-ARG1984PF.PDF.

20 For the text of the Japan–People's Republic of China agreement, see: https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/china/treaty78.html.

21 For the text of the India–Soviet Union agreement, see: https://mea.gov.in/bilateral-documents.htm?dtl/5139/Treaty+of.

22 See, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, May 23, 1969, 1155 U.N.T.S. 331, art. 2 § 1(a) (definition of “treaty”).

23 Aegean Sea Continental Shelf, Judgment, 1978 I.C.J. Rep. 39, ¶ 96 (Dec. 19).

24 Reprinted in Report by the Secretary-General concerning the Agreement between Egypt and Israel, Annex, 30 U.N. SCOR, Supp. at 54, U.N. Doc. S/11818/Add.1 (July-Sept. 1975); see also 14 I.L.M. 1450.

25 For an unofficial text of the United States–Israel Memorandum of Understanding, see: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/israel-united-states-memorandum-of-understanding-1975.

26 Jennifer Hansler, Trump administration informs Congress of intent to sell $23B in arms to UAE, CNN (Nov. 11, 2020), https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/11/politics/uae-arms-sales-formal-notification/index.html.

27 Designation of Saraya al-Mukhtar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, 85, Fed. Reg. 82564 (Dec. 18, 2020), https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/12/18/2020-27849/designation-of-saraya-al-mukhtar-as-a-specially-designated-global-terrorist.

28 U.S. Dep't State, Bureau of Counterterrorism, State Sponsors of Terrorism (Dec. 18, 2020), https://www.state.gov/state-sponsors-of-terrorism (designating Saraya al-Mokhtar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist).

29 As part of the deal, Sudan agreed to pay $335 million to compensate victims of al-Qaida attacks on United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the Navy destroyer Cole in 2000. See Lara Jakes et. al, State Dept. to Remove Sudan From List of Terrorist States, N.Y. Times (Updated Dec. 14, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/19/world/africa/sudan-trump-israel-terrorism.html.

30 U.S. Proclamation on Recognizing the Sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco Over the Western Sahara (Dec. 10, 2020), https://ma.usembassy.gov/proclamation-on-recognizing-the-sovereignty-of-the-kingdom-of-morocco-over-the-western-sahara/.

31 See supra note 6.

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