The Abraham Accords, the agreements between Israel and four Arab nations to normalize relations, will be expanded and managed by Daniel Shapiro, a former American ambassador to Israel, under the Biden administration.
Shapiro, who served as Israel’s ambassador under the Obama administration, has been leading an Atlantic Council think tank initiative to push the Abraham Accords.
“Dan will support U.S. efforts to advance a more peaceful and interconnected region, deepen and broaden the Abraham Accords, and build the Negev Forum,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter on Thursday.
The Abraham Accords, which were mediated by the Trump administration in 2020 and pledged to be expanded at the Negev Summit by the Biden administration, are agreements involving Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan.
One of the few areas where the Biden and Trump administrations concur is the drive to expand and normalize existing accords.
They are also one of the few areas of cooperation between the Biden and Netanyahu administrations.
The ideas for judicial reform put forth by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are opposed by Biden, who is also dissatisfied with the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Netanyahu’s strategy to quicken settlement construction.
Eli Cohen, the foreign minister of Israel, applauded the choice. He posted on Twitter, “I welcome the nomination of Ambassador Dan Shapiro as Senior Advisor for Regional Integration.
“We’ll cooperate to widen the sphere of calm and normalcy and bring prosperity and stability to the area.
Netanyahu wants to include Saudi Arabia in the agreements, and Blinken just visited Saudi Arabia and encouraged them to do so. Before being designated ambassador in 2011, Shapiro had resided and attended school in Israel. Even right-wing officials and MPs admired him in Jerusalem.
It is not necessary for the Senate to approve his new post as senior adviser for regional integration.
Congress is working on legislation to establish an ambassador-level position to pursue the Abraham Accords.