Two years on from the signing of the historic Abraham Accords, the UK Prime Minister has hailed them as the “greatest success story in the Middle East for a generation".
Liz Truss made the comments in a publication featuring contributions from politicians from all countries involved in the accords. The publication was created by the UK Abraham Accords Group and ELNET UK.
The accords were signed in Washington in September 2020 and established relations between the UAE and Bahrain and Israel. Morocco later followed with an agreement to normalise relations with Israel.
Trade between the UAE and Israel has grown by 500 per cent in the past two years, wrote Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.
He also called the agreement a “courageous and important step towards achieving peace in the Middle East” with the region reaping “the political and economic advantages”.
Ms Truss, who worked closely with Gulf states while the UK's foreign secretary, said the accords were “transformational” and the countries involved “grasped the economic promise” the move presented.
“The UK is proud to be a steadfast supporter of the historic Abraham Accords, one of the greatest success stories in the Middle East for a generation,” she said.
Direct flights between the UAE and Israel have led to the links between people in the countries maturing into “deep and abiding friendships between different societies and cultures”, she said.
The Negev Forum, a mechanism for regional co-operation, also helped to “counter shared threats” while enhancing regional stability.
“The UK government is committed to working with Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco to realise the opportunities presented by the accords to advance regional stability and prosperity,” Ms Truss said.
“Together we will ensure that the accords continue to go from strength to strength in the years ahead.”
Sheikh Abdullah said the accords enhanced stability and security in the region, as well as stimulating trade and economic co-operation between the UAE and Israel.
“The accords have also been central to regional efforts to unlock the potential of Arab youth and strengthen a shared pursuit of prosperity and development,” he said.
“Youth have enormous capability to bring peace to the Arab world and we aim to ensure the greatest benefit to the Middle East and beyond.”
He said non-oil bilateral trade amounted to more than $2 billion and that the “high-level co-operation between our nations reflect our country's commitment to deepening relations that will serve our people, economies and societies for generations to come”.
Idan Roll, Israel's deputy foreign minister, wrote his country's contribution to the publication.
He described the accords as a “watershed moment for the Middle East” that represented “the beginning of a new chapter for the region”.
The agreement led to progress in technology, religious tolerance, peace and the fight against extremism, Mr Roll said.
“The next challenge is to weave relations between our peoples. We need to get to know one another and learn about each other's traditions and histories,” he said.
“Individuals throughout the region should be able to see the positive impact of peace whether it is access to better education, culture or quality of life.”
Liam Fox, chairman of the UK Abraham Accords Group, said the accords were a “bold and visionary step” towards peace in the Middle East in the publication.
“We are impressed by the spirit of coexistence that is being fostered in Bahrain, Israel, Morocco and the UAE between religions, cultures and nations,” he said.
“I am confident the UK can play an important role in expanding the accords and that our organisation can contribute to this aim.”