New project will build on normalization agreements to foster sustainable ties between Israel and Arab neighbors

Washington, DC—April 26, 2021—The Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs today announced a major expansion of its programming on Israel and its growing ties with Arab and Muslim world, with generous support from the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation.

The recent normalization agreements between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco mark a transformational moment in the region. But for peace to truly succeed, it cannot be limited to the leaders who signed it or confined only to quiet meetings between security services. Peace must be broader, deeper, and warmer, cutting across the full range of civil and economic sectors, in order for it to be sustainable. Such an enduring peace will transcend personalities and set the stage for greater stability, connectivity, and prosperity across the region.

The Atlantic Council will contribute to that effort by bringing together a group of decision-makers and thought leaders from Israel and the Arab and Muslim world. These private dialogues will foster meaningful personal connections, address issues of joint concern between the countries, generate practical policy ideas, and yield substantive partnerships, all while solidifying the warm peace that all seek. The avenues for cooperation are expansive, from common security threats to fostering wider, durable business-to-business and people-to-people ties.

“We are grateful to the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation for partnering with us on this timely endeavor. The recent normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab neighbors, building on the previous normalizations with Egypt and Jordan, usher in a new era of hope at a time of great uncertainty in the Middle East. The Abraham Dialogues will deepen these agreements by promoting sustainable ties between the countries across sectors. The lasting, personal relationships that emerge will help ensure a more peaceful, prosperous region,” said Fred Kempe, CEO of the Atlantic Council.

This effort will build on the Atlantic Council’s extensive work on Israel and its ties to the Arab world, including its trilateral partnership with the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv and the Emirates Policy Center in Abu Dhabi. The project will be led by Carmiel Arbit, senior fellow; Kirsten Fontenrose, director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative; and William F. Wechsler, director of the Rafik Hariri Center & Middle East Programs.

The Atlantic Council and the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation share a mutual commitment to molding and leveraging the opportunities created by the Abraham Accords in order to build a more integrated and peaceful Middle East.

Oren Eisner, President of the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Atlantic Council on this critical program. Advancing relations between Israel and her Arab neighbors will require sustained, meaningful, multifaceted engagement. This includes fostering deep personal ties among leaders. The Abraham Dialogues will help build the connections that will carry the parties into the future and help chart the course for a new Middle East.”

Through all of the Atlantic Council’s Middle East programming, we work with allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.

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