ABU DHABI: The Emirates Society, the UK-based institution focused on strengthening ties between the UK and UAE on economic, political and cultural affairs, hosted a high-level online roundtable discussion on Thursday on the historic Abraham Accords. The participants explored the advancement of UAE-Israel, regional and Muslim-Jewish cooperation.
Representing the UAE at the event was Reem bint Ebrahim Al-Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, who spoke alongside Ban Ki-moon, the former UN secretary general, and Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
Speaking on the impact of the historic accords for the UAE and Israel, Reem Al-Hashimy said: “The UAE believes in the importance of dialogue and in shaping what this region could look like for many generations to come. We are committed to a two-state solution in a Middle East that will fight extremism and that believes in plurality, multiculturalism, the right of minorities, and the opportunities that exist for young people by embracing technology, innovation, and economic empowerment.”
Ban Ki-moon reflected on the role of multilateral organizations, the importance of religious tolerance, and how lessons from the Abraham Accords can be applied to other longstanding issues. He said that the Abraham Accords offer a “cooperative space not only for leaders but also for citizens of all the participating countries.”
He continued, “The architects of this important agreement must ensure that the Accords are not an agreement just for their countries, but for their people. The Abraham Accords should serve as a launchpad for the sustainable peace and prosperity in the region.”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “The Abraham Accords have unlocked a range of exciting opportunities for closer political, economic, and diplomatic collaboration between the UAE and the State of Israel. In addition, I am particularly hopeful that they will also herald a new era of Muslim-Jewish interfaith dialogue. This is a time for faith leaders to be courageous and work together to build a culture of peace and cooperation in our communities.”
Chairing the event was Alistair Burt, former UK Minister of State for the Middle East and Chair of the Emirates Society, who commented: “The UK has supported the Abraham Accords as a bold diplomatic move to suggest a different future for the Middle East, beyond the conflicts which have afflicted it for so long.”
Building on the positive impact the accords have had on the Gulf region, Reem Al Hashimy noted that the event was a welcome step in furthering the discussion on how diplomacy and goodwill are central to a peaceful Middle East and showcase what is possible for not only the region, but the rest of the world.
The virtual event was attended by more than 100 high-level guests from the UK, UAE, and across Europe and the Middle East.