Secretary of State Tony Blinken is reportedly considering appointing Dan Shapiro, former U.S. ambassador to Israel, as the State Department’s point person for the Abraham Accords1. This move is seen as a strategic step to strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance and to continue the normalization process between Israel and Arab countries that was initiated by the Abraham Accords.
Why This Matters: The Abraham Accords, which began the normalization of relations between Israel and several Arab countries, have seen a slowdown since the right-wing Israeli government took office1. However, the Biden administration, recognizing the importance of these peace treaties, is looking to give new impetus to these efforts ahead of the 2024 presidential election1.
The Broader Picture: This potential appointment comes as senior White House officials are advocating for the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel1. The creation of a dedicated position within the State Department for the Abraham Accords would signal a renewed commitment to this cause.
Congressional Support: Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are urging the White House to bolster the Abraham Accords1. Last month, the House of Representatives passed a resolution supporting the strengthening of the Abraham Accords, and a bipartisan bill was introduced in February to establish the position of an envoy for the Abraham Accords at the State Department1.
Looking Ahead: Ronen Levy, the director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, is visiting Washington this week for talks about strengthening and expanding the Abraham Accords1. These discussions are expected to focus on key issues such as the ministerial meeting of the Negev forum, which has been postponed several times due to political sensitivities1.
1: Axios. (2023). Blinken considering tapping Shapiro as Abraham Accords point person at State Department. Retrieved from https://www.axios.com/2023/05/15/abraham-accords-adviser-state-dan-shapiro-blinken