The US and the countries that signed the Abraham Accords are working to enhance their ties by connecting their citizens. US Ambassador to Israel Thomas R. Nides will travel to the United Arab Emirates on March 29, together with Mohamed Al-Khaja, and Khaled al-Jalahma, the UAE and Bahrain ambassadors to Israel, and with other government officials from Abraham Accords countries.
This delegation will take part in the “Abraham Accords Festival and Games” at Expo 2020 in Dubai. The happening will gather together top chefs and national soccer legends from the countries engaged in the Abraham Accords.
The US Embassy in Israel said in a statement that the purpose of the event is to enhance relations between the citizens of the countries taking part in the accords. The goal is, according to the statement, “deepening cultural cooperation and people-to-people ties between Abraham Accords countries.”
The event also will include an exhibition soccer match with top players from each country, a festive dinner prepared by top chefs from Israel, Bahrain, Morocco and the UAE, and a signing ceremony for the Culture and Sport for Peace Joint Declaration between the Abraham Accords countries.
“This event is part of a broader effort – whereby ongoing sports, food and cultural events serve as cement to form strong people-to-people ties between the signees of the Abraham Accords,” Mohamed Al-Khaja, UAE’s ambassador to Israel said in a statement.
He stressed how important it is to connect the people of the accords countries in order to achieve real peace. “Strong peace is based on strong relationships between the citizens of the Abraham Accords countries. We want to see the people get together to play, eat, form partnerships, friendships and have fun together,” Al-Khaja said.
In response to a question by the Media Line during a news conference announcing the event, Nides said that the US is focusing on the countries that have engaged in the Abraham Accords and in the importance of building relations among them. He described it as part of a regional effort seeking to benefit of the whole region.
During the announcement of the visit, Nides said: “As these benefits continue to grow, so do the bonds between people. The Abraham Accords Festival and Games at the Expo is an opportunity to forge long-lasting connections between athletes, restauranteurs, and other doers and makers who have created such vibrant societies in the UAE, Israel, Morocco and Bahrain. This is what peace looks like.”
The US-brokered Abraham Accords were signed by Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain at the White House on Sept. 15, 2020. Morocco later joined the agreement. The normalization pacts were initially advanced by the Trump Administration and have been embraced by the Biden Administration.