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Abraham Accords UPSC NOTE

 The Abraham Accords Peace Agreement is the official name for the Israel–UAE normalization agreement.

Background

  • Since Israel's founding in 1948, the relationship between Israel and the rest of the Arab world has remained antagonistic. 

  • The majority of the hatred stemmed from the subject of Palestine's sovereignty.

  • Since 1948, Israel has fought three large-scale wars against a variety of Arab nations. Despite the fact that Israel was victorious, it realized that its military dominance would not be guaranteed in the long run.

  • Meanwhile, although coming close to conquering Israel, Egypt and Syria were dissatisfied with their efforts. 

  • Egypt's President, Anwar Sadat, was afraid of future confrontations with Israel. His country had suffered more losses than gains, therefore he took the unusual step of recognizing Israel as an independent entity.

  • The Camp David Accords were signed between Israel and Egypt to this end. Egypt accorded formal recognition in 1979.

  • The situation in the Middle East shifted from time to time, with Israel and Palestine even signing an agreement.

Abraham Accords

  • The Abraham Accords Peace Agreement is the official name for the Israel–UAE normalization agreement.

  • On August 13, 2020, the United States, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to it in a joint statement.

  • After Egypt in 1979 and Jordan is 1994, the UAE became the third Arab country to agree to formally normalize relations with Israel, as well as the first Persian Gulf country to do so.

  • Concurrently, Israel agreed to put plans to annex parts of the West Bank on hold. 

  • The agreement formalized the two countries' long-standing but robust foreign relations.

  • The treaties are named after Abraham, the patriarch whom both Judaism and Islam view as a prophet.

  • The UAE and Bahrain will create embassies and swap ambassadors, according to the accords, and will cooperate with Israel in a variety of fields, including tourism, trade, healthcare, and security.

  • The Abraham Accords also allow Muslims from all over the world to visit Israel's ancient monuments and quietly pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest site.

Significance of the accord

  • The accord demonstrates how Arab nations are rapidly distancing themselves from the Palestinian issue.

  • The agreement restores the UAE's goodwill in the United States, which has been damaged by its role in the Yemen war.

  • Sudan and Morocco normalized relations with Israel the same year the accords were signed. More countries are expected to follow suit, but given the tumultuous nature of Middle-Eastern politics, this appears highly unlikely in the short term.

  • Foreign policy experts believe that the rise of Iran's clout in the region played a significant role in the signing of the accords. 

    • Iran has long been an adversary of Israel, and its leaders have vowed to fight for Palestinian independence regardless of who makes peace with Israel.

  • To promote a stable future for West Asia.

  • The agreements have ushered in a new era of normalisation and peace that not only connects governments but also brings people together, despite the differences in their language, religious beliefs, cultures and more.

Major outcomes

  • So far, the Abraham Accords have offered a mere glimpse into the full potential of regional cooperation. 

  • Even so, the scope of trade between Israel and other West Asian countries increased 74% between 2021 and 2022. 

  • Another example is tourism, mostly non-existent in the past, which has skyrocketed. 

    • In 2021, visits from Israel to the UAE increased by 172%. 

    • Meanwhile, the number of Israelis flying to Bahrain since the establishment of direct flights has increased exponentially.

  • In a region where 65% of the population is under 30 years of age, providing the younger generation with opportunities is a key factor in preventing instability. 

  • To that end, youth delegations have been initiated, encouraging bonds between tomorrow’s leaders. 

  • Delegations in which young influencers experience each other’s cultures and visit important religious and historic sites while focusing on community building are effective tools for strengthening ties.

  • The Abraham Accords encourage collaboration and education. 

  • In the summer of 2022, Ben-Gurion University welcomed students from Morocco. 

  • Additionally, a number of Emirati students have enrolled in Israeli universities. 

  • Bahrain has also embraced the prospects for shared educational activities and signed a number of agreements with Israel to advance student and professor exchanges.

  • Emirati Foreign Minister visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, the UAE incorporated Holocaust education into its school curriculum as a mandatory subject, attestation to the ability of the Abraham Accords to foster coexistence and religious tolerance.

  • The Accords have also had a significant influence on reinforcing Israel’s relations with neighbouring countries. 

  • For example, the Prosperity Green & Blue agreement between Israel, the UAE, and Jordan determined that a solar field to supply 600 megawatts of electricity to Israel would be established in Jordan, while in return, a desalination plant in Israel would deliver 200 million cubic meters of water to Jordan.

Opportunities for India

  • India should take advantage of this unexpected chance to expand its influence in a region that is strategically important to it.

  • The first move should be to strengthen military and security ties with the UAE. 

  • India should use its economy to expand its presence in the area.

  • The vibrant Indian diaspora in the Gulf now has the convenience of direct flights between the UAE and Israel, as well as between Israel and Bahrain. 

  • Indian students are enjoying increased ease of travel, gaining improved access to universities and the opportunity to explore international study programmes.

  • The Accords have laid the foundation for expanded regional and multinational cooperation, and this has resulted in a flow of economic opportunities reaching India. 

  • Notably, Israel have witnessed substantial commercial collaborations between companies from the UAE, Israel, Bahrain, and the U.S., partnering with the Indian private sector.

  • A concrete illustration of this high-level economic cooperation between these governments is the establishment of the I2U2 Group, formed by Israel, India, the UAE, and the U.S. 

  • The Abraham Accords made the I2U2 Group possible, and its primary focus will be on joint investments in critical areas such as water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security.


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