Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met Wednesday in Washington, D.C. with Israeli Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a trilateral setting to highlight the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords and the normalization agreements between the two nations.
According to State Department spokesperson Ned Price, Blinken welcomed the warming relations between Israel and the UAE, including the opening of respective embassies, appointment of ambassadors, new direct flights, dozens of cultural exchanges, and burgeoning economic and business ties that have benefited the people of both countries and the region.
Blinken also reiterated the Administration’s commitment to advancing a negotiated two-state solution and to harnessing these agreements to that end, according to Price in a statement released Thursday.
Secretary Blinken and the Foreign Ministers discussed the importance of increasing joint efforts to combat violent extremism and hate, as well as opportunities to work together to tackle regional security challenges exacerbated by the climate crisis. They decided to launch two trilateral working groups: one on religious coexistence and the other on water and energy, the spokesperson said.
The working group on religious coexistence will seek to advance interfaith and intercultural dialogue and combat religious intolerance and hate, including through collaboration between religious and spiritual leaders, scholars, and their respective governments.
The second working group will address water management and energy issues to accelerate the adoption of clean energy as part of growing regional cooperation to tackle the climate crisis.
Blinken and Foreign Ministers agreed to work together, seek to enlist others to address these challenges, and, collectively, build a more sustainable and cooperative future, Price said.