25th Jan 2022


The first anniversary of the Abraham Accords

  • The Abraham Accords represent a revolutionary kind of peace. It is a new paradigm that is filtering down from national leaders through to every aspect of society, and is now thriving between people, societies, and cultures (Photo: Johnk85)
Listen to article

In these challenging times, it is natural to seek out beacons of hope and optimism. Luckily for us, we do not have to look so far. This week, we mark one year of the historic event in which Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed the US-brokered peace agreements known as the Abraham Accords.

The signing of the Accords was a historic, watershed moment for the Middle East that marked the beginning of an entirely new chapter for the region. It represents a decision to build a future together that will benefit all of our peoples.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

More than that, the Abraham Accords represent a revolutionary kind of peace. It is a new paradigm that is filtering down from national leaders through to every aspect of society, and is now thriving between people, societies, and cultures.

These agreements proved that Israel is an integral and permanent part of the Middle East with much to contribute to the stability and prosperity of the region. The importance of connections between people cannot be underestimated.

As foreign minister Yair Lapid said during the inauguration of the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi "agreements are signed by leaders, but peace is made between people".

The benefits of peace cannot be denied. Since the first direct flights linking Tel Aviv with Dubai (November 2020) and Abu Dhabi (April 2021), hundreds of thousands of Israeli tourists and businesspeople have visited the UAE and Bahrain, connecting peoples and cultures like never before.

More than 55 agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain are currently underway - half of them have already been signed and implemented. These agreements lay the foundation for practical cooperation in almost all fields including: finance, communications, economy, culture, tourism, taxation, investment protection, freedom of movement, water, agriculture and energy.

Between January and July 2021, trade between Israel and the UAE surged to $613.9m [€524m] and that is just the beginning. The enormous economic benefits of the peace accords have become rapidly apparent, as all sides have gained from the fruits of peace.

All of these developments and many more have been accomplished within just one year. Considering the restraints imposed by the global coronavirus pandemic over this past year, we can only imagine what the future holds.

EU role?

A month ago, I arrived to Brussels as Israel's new ambassador to the EU and Nato. Before that, and for almost five years, I served as the director of the Middle East and Peace Process division at the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs.

My main mission was to build Israeli-Arab contacts and relations and I was fortunate to lead the efforts of opening Israeli Embassies in Abu Dhabi, Manama, and Rabat . I am looking forward to continuing the work of improving and strengthening multilateral and bilateral ties of Israel in the Middle East , this time with the EU's involvement.

The EU can play a key role in the region by supporting trilateral projects, promoting its values, sponsoring people-to-people dialogue and fostering peace in the Middle East. The EU can join Israel and its moderate neighbours to write a new page in the history books.

Israel believes in peace and yearns for peaceful ties with all of its neighbours.

The Middle East is our home, and we call on all countries of the region to recognise this fact and engage in a dialogue with us. We believe that we will be able to resolve the conflict and establish peaceful coexistence with our immediate neighbours, the Palestinians. The accords pave the way to this goal, and also serve to effectively consolidate the moderate forces in the Middle East.

The Abraham Accords have brought more than just beacons of hope and optimism to the Middle East, they brought a new reality that will improve the welfare of our populations and bring security and prosperity to all.

Author bio

Haim Regev is Israeli ambassador to the EU and Nato.


The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

Textbook hypocrisy: EU's new low point on Palestine

Brussels institutions are devoting time not to Israel's illegal settlements and the two-state solution, but to an entirely different, peripheral issue: an EU-funded study of Palestinian Authority schoolbooks, published in June by the Georg-Eckert Institute in Germany.

What a post-Netanyahu Israel means for EU

Under Benjamin Netanyahu, the EU-Israel Association Council meetings, supposed to be held at regular intervals and set the tone for progress on political and economic issues, have not convened since 2013.

Israel's besmirching of Palestine NGOs must be reversed

The designation perfectly fits into Israel's long-conceived strategy to besmirch Palestinian civil society voices under false allegations of terrorism and antisemitism, while pressuring any international actor that grants them a hearing, and actively demanding their defunding.

EU interconnector: Cyprus 'energy isolation' or Israeli gas?

The EU is not only turning a blind eye to Israel's belligerent and illegal gas extractions but outrightly colluding by financing and otherwise supporting costly infrastructure projects. The ongoing gas crisis affecting the EU is no excuse for this behaviour

Palestine refugees: UNRWA's global responsibility

Regional politics, competing global priorities and, sadly, a deliberate misinformation campaign that seeks to dismantle the agency jeopardise the critical mission of one of the United Nations' true success stories.

Digital marketing should rejoice at more EU regulation

The Digital Services Act was adopted with a solid majority in the European Parliament plenary - and today, some marketing professionals weep. The result will be a fundamentally different digital eco-system, and this will change digital marketing too.

Macron's vision will hit EU Council veto buffers

President Emmanuel Macron's address to the European Parliament championed a bold and ambitious pro-European agenda. There is one problem though - the plans rely on a system of governance that has gridlocked the EU for over a decade.

Latest News

  1. EIB invests €50m in autonomous delivery robot operator
  2. EU eyes Indian Ocean naval adventure
  3. EU auditors slam fragmented, sluggish 5G rollout
  4. EU and UK try to melt ice in post-Brexit talks
  5. German ministers condemn 'unrealistic' EU hydrogen rules
  6. 15 years on: How are Bulgaria and Romania doing in the EU?
  7. Coerced into pleading guilty: the rise of trial-waivers in Europe
  8. Poland and Hungary go hard on Belarus migrants

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us