01.10.22

Lankford, Colleagues Launch Abraham Accords Caucus

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today announced the launch of the Senate Abraham Accords Caucus in order to build on the success of the historic Abraham Accords. For decades, Congress has played a key role in promoting peace between Israel and its neighbors. The Caucus will provide an opportunity to strengthen the Abraham Accords by encouraging and partnerships among the existing Abraham Accords countries and expanding the agreement to include countries that do not currently have diplomatic relations with Israel.

The Abraham Accords, which were signed on September 15, 2020, resulted in peace and normalization agreements between Israel and several Arab states—the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco—transforming the region, enhancing Israel’s security, creating economic opportunities for Arab states, and advancing vital US national security interests. The Accords built on the success of previous peace normalization agreements between Israel, Egypt, and Jordan.

“It was a great day for peace when I joined President Trump at the White House and leaders from Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates more than a year ago as they signed the historic Abraham Accords,” said Lankford. “When Morocco and Sudan joined the Accords a few weeks later, the concept of the Abraham Accords demonstrated that reconciliation among even more nations in the region was possible. I stand with Israel and for lasting peace in the Middle East, alongside my colleagues, as we launch the Abraham Accords Caucus. We will seek peace through expanding and encouraging the Accords and set the example for other nations who desire peace. Matthew 5:9 importantly reminds us that ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’”

"In just one year, the Abraham Accords have already transformed the Middle East by contributing to regional peace and stability, promoting US interests, and enhancing Israel’s security,” said Rosen. “The Abraham Accords Caucus will build on that success by providing bipartisan leadership to strengthen existing partnerships and widen the circle of peace to new countries. I have long supported America’s leadership role in fostering peace between Israel and its neighbors, and I look forward to furthering that work through this bipartisan Caucus."

“Finalizing the Abraham Accords was a historic step toward peace in the Middle East and welcome news, not only for our partners and allies in the region, but for the United States. We must continue these efforts to further our nation’s partnership with Israel and promote peace and prosperity, and I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Abraham Accords Caucus to do so,” said Ernst.  

“I am proud to join as a co-chair of this caucus, and build upon the work of the historic Abraham Accords, which have normalized relations between Israel and several Arab states, promoted greater economic opportunities in the Middle East, and advanced the prospect of peace in the region,” said Booker. “The United States must continue to play an active role in fostering further dialogue and partnership between Israel and other Arab countries, and I look forward to doing just that as part of this bipartisan group.”

In September, Lankford commemorated the first anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, which he attended at the White House with President Trump and the leaders of Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Caucus is supported by the Atlantic Council, the Abraham Accords Peace Institute, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, HadassahThe Women’s Zionist Organization of America , the US-Israel Education Association, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Israel Policy Forum, CUFI Action, the Jewish Federations of North America, and B’nai B’rith International.

The companion House Abraham Accords Caucus is chaired by Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), David Trone (D-MD), Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Brad Schneider (D-IL).

“I can think of no better way to begin the new year than by reaffirming our commitment in Congress to supporting long-standing peace in the Middle East,” said Rodgers. “The bipartisan, bicameral Abraham Accords Caucus will provide a unique opportunity for world leaders to come together in our common pursuit of creating a better, safer, and more prosperous world for our children and grandchildren. I am proud to lead this caucus with my colleagues, and I appreciate the support of our partners seeking to uphold and promote the values of human dignity, freedom, and hope around the globe. I am encouraged by the progress we have made, and I look forward to the amazing things we can accomplish together through our shared commitment to a better future in the name of peace.”

"As leaders, it is our duty to promote peace and broker vital partnerships among nations in the Middle East. The establishment of the Abraham Accords Caucus marks an important step toward achieving these goals. This Caucus serves as a model of how Congress can work together to help solve some of the world's most pressing issues,” said Trone.

“The Abraham Accords Caucus is an incredibly important initiative that will bolster the United States’ commitment to peace in the Middle East. This caucus will build on the achievements of the Abraham Accords and promote stability in the region, counteract destructive regimes, and help maintain robust working relationships between our Israeli and Arab partners,” said Wagner.

“The Abraham Accords have already made historic progress in changing the dynamic of the entire Middle East, and hold the hope for more steps towards regional peace. I am proud to be a founding member of the bipartisan Abraham Accords Caucus, which will further Congress’s work toward ensuring a secure, Jewish and democratic Israel living side by side with a Palestinian state – with peace, security and prosperity for both peoples. I thank Senators Lankford, Rosen, Ernst, and Booker and Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Trone, and Wagner for their partnership in forming this caucus,” said Schneider.

Background

The Senate Abraham Accords Caucus encourages partnerships between the US, Israel, Arab states, and other relevant countries and regions. The Caucus also provides congressional leadership to strengthen and expand the Abraham Accords by promoting the benefits of normalizing relations with Israel.

The Caucus will:

  • Encourage and seek to incentivize expansion of the Abraham Accords to include countries that do not currently have diplomatic relations with Israel;
  • Highlight the importance of the Abraham Accords to achieving lasting peace in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbors, including through a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that ensures mutual recognition and guarantees that Israelis and Palestinians live side by side with freedom, security, and prosperity;
  • Engage partner countries, including European allies, in multilateral efforts to promote the Abraham Accords;
  • Foster religious freedom and understanding throughout the Middle East through interfaith and intercultural dialogue between Israel and Abraham Accords countries; and
  • Support and work to enable us Government investments, including through the International Development Finance Corporation and US Agency for International Development (USAID), in cooperative projects in furtherance of the Abraham Accords; and
  • Serve as a forum for conversations and connections among leaders in Abraham Accords countries as well as Egypt, Jordan, and among the Palestinian people seeking to advance cooperative and sustainable development partnerships in the areas of energy security, water infrastructure, biomedicine, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies with the intent of furthering economic development and cooperation in the region.

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