AAPI Monthly Newsletters

AAPI Newsletter: March 2022

April 04, 2022

By Abraham Accords Peace Institute

March 2022 saw the momentum behind the Abraham Accords increase dramatically as the member nations undertook numerous initiatives to strengthen their relations.

On the diplomatic front, the foreign ministers of the United States, Israel, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates met in Israel’s southern Negev desert for an unprecedented summit that was historic on numerous fronts and is slated to become an annual occurrence. Earlier in the same week, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed held an unprecedented trilateral summit in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh. Additionally, March saw the first-of-their-kind visits by officials from the IDF to Bahrain and Morocco.

Finally, in indications that the impact of the Abraham Accords is extending far beyond the signatory countries, Singapore announced that it will open an embassy in Israel, Members of the Israeli Knesset took part in the first official Israeli visit to Indonesia in 30 years, and Azerbaijan opened a tourism office in Israel.

In the first two months of 2022, trade between Israel and Accords countries increased 144% (Israel CBS). In March 2022, economic relations continued to strengthen. Accords-related business delegations visited Tel Aviv, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi among other locations. Memorandums of Understanding were signed in areas such as aerospace cooperation and agriculture, and the launch of the first Israeli-Emirati VC fund was announced. As the month concluded, Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced the completion of a historic free-trade agreement.

This momentum has been complimented by increased strengthening of the cultural bonds between Accords countries. New flight routes between Israel and Morocco, the UAE, and Egypt either launched or were announced. An Israeli research book was published in the UAE for the first time, cooperation in the health sector continued to be formalized and sporting events brought together participants from Accords countries.

Along with furthering numerous initiative to strengthen the relations between Accords countries, in March the Abraham Accords Peace Institute travelled to Morocco where it met with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, multiple additional Moroccan Ministers, and numerous other partners to advance agricultural, healthcare, and educational initiatives and strengthen the Abraham Accords.

Keep reading for notable Abraham Accords events that occurred throughout the month of March 2022:

April 1, 2022- Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed on Friday a historic free trade agreement between the two countries.

March 31, 2022- The UAE and Israel signed an MOU which will allow visitors and residents from either country to use their local license to operate a vehicle in the other country And allows either license holders to convert their licenses to the local equivalent without redoing the theoretical and practical driving tests.

March 31, 2022- Azerbaijan opened a tourism representative office in Israel and signed a tourism agreement with Israel. 

March 30-31, 2022- Concerts were held in Casablanca and Rabat to celebrate Muslim-Jewish Andalusian music that featured prominent Moroccan and Israeli artists.

March 30, 2022- President of Israel Isaac Herzog visited Jordan for a historic meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. 

March 29, 2022- Ministers of Culture from Israel, Morocco, Bahrain, and the UAE signed an agreement for cooperation on cultural initiatives.

March 29, 2022- Morocco’s tourism authority signed an agreement with Israeli private carrier Israir to promote the kingdom destination enable Israir to operate two weekly flights from Tel Aviv to Marrakech.

March 29, 2022- Abraham Accords Festival and Games- A team of soccer stars from the Abraham Accords countries faced off against stars from world teams during the first Abraham Accords Games at the Dubai Expo. Following the match, the Ministers of Culture from Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco took part in a culinary festival in which famous chefs from all four countries prepared meals in their national styles. 

March 28, 2022- In an unprecedented and historic event dubbed the “Negev Summit”, the foreign ministers of the United States, Israel, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates met in Israel’s southern Negev desert. During the meeting, the foreign ministers committed to expanding economic and diplomatic cooperation. The visit by Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita was the first ever official visit by a Moroccan minister to Israel. The Summit also provided the occasion for the first ever visit to Israel by the United Arab Emirate’s Foreign Minister. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was urged by the House Co-Chairs of the bipartisan, bicameral Abraham Accords Caucus to use the opportunity to “prioritize efforts to deepen and expand the Abraham Accords”, stated that “just a few years ago this gathering would be impossible to imagine.” Afterwards, Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, stated that the countries would strive to make the summit a yearly event.

March 28, 2022- At the inaugural meeting of the Trilateral Religious Coexistence Working Group in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, United States, and State of Israel launched an ambitious agenda to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue, and counter religious intolerance and hatred

March 27-31, 2022: The Israel Manufacturers Association and the Israel Export Institute led the first ever business delegation from Israel to Morocco.

March 27, 2022- Zionism in Arab Discourse has been translated into Arabic and published in the UAE, making it the first Israeli research book to ever be published in the UAE. 

March 26, 2022- In the first official visit by the IDF to Morocco since the signing of the Abraham Accords, senior IDF officers met with senior officers of Morocco’s military and signed an MOU to expand military cooperation.

March 24, 2022- The launch of the first Israeli-Emirati VC fund -Synaptech Capital- was announced. The fund will invest in Israeli and Emirati start-ups developing cybersecurity, smart city, insure-tech, fintech and public safety technologies.

March 23, 2022- Morocco and Israel signed an agreement in Rabat to cooperate on civilian aerospace projects, foster innovation, and boost airplane maintenance and transformation. 

March 22, 2022- Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed held an unprecedented trilateral summit in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh. The previous day, Bennett and bin Zayed held separate bilateral meetings with the Egyptian president.

March 22, 2022- A webinar entitled Morocco Israel Investment Tourism Summit took place with numerous firms and countries represented . 

March 22, 2022- The Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development, the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism, and Israel’s Ministry of Tourism hosted a virtual Morocco-Israel Tourism investment Summit. 

March 22, 2022- The UAE-Israel Business Council, in partnership with the US Embassy in Jerusalem, hosted a virtual event entitled “Logistics in the New Abraham Accords Region” which discussed the logistics industry in Abraham Accords Countries

March 22, 2022- Kosovo’s Defense Minister visited Israel for the first time.

March 21-27, 2022- The Association of Gulf Jewish Communities baked Matzah in Bahrain on March 21st, Dubai on March 26th, and Abu Dhabi on March 27th. In an indication of the growth of the Jewish community, the umbrella organization for the Jewish communities of the GCC arranged for the shipment throughout GCC member-states of 20% more Matzah for Passover this year than last.

March 21, 2022- Members of the Israeli Knesset led an Israeli delegation to an International Parliamentary Union conference in Bali, the first official Israeli visit to Indonesia in 30 years.

March 21, 2022- In yet another move reflecting the growing relations between Israel and Muslim countries set in motion by the Abraham Accords, Singapore announced that it will open an embassy in Israel. 

March 21, 2022- OurCrowd, one of Israel’s largest venture capital firms, announced that it plans to open an artificial intelligence-based research and development center in Abu Dhabi by early June, which will facilitate investment decision-making.

March 18, 2022: UAE’s Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed visited the Israeli pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. 

March 16, 2022- Israel and Egypt announced a new direct route between Tel Aviv and the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh expected to launch in April.

March 16, 2022- The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Israel to cooperate in the field of agriculture.

March 15, 2022- The Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2022 was signed in to law by the President of the United States as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022. The Act obligates the US State Department to develop and submit to Congress a strategy on expanding and strengthening the Abraham Accords. The passage of the Israel Relations Normalization Act was hailed by the Abraham Accords Caucus chairs. 

March 15, 2022- The first Morocco-Israel Business Forum took place in Tel Aviv.

March 15, 2022- UAE’s Emirates Airlines announced that it would commence offering daily flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv on June 23rd, 2022. 

March 13, 2022- Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc launched its first direct flight between Morocco and Israel, becoming the first airline to offer flights between Israel and Casablanca. Additionally, Royal Air Maroc and Israel’s El Al Airlines announced a Code Share Agreement. 

March 12, 2022- Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced the appointment of Dorit Avidani as the country’s consul in  Morocco.

March 10-12, 2022- Tangiers, Morocco played host to a cultural event entitled “Jewish Days of Tangiers” that included a tour of Tangiers’ old city and Jewish locales, and a concert with Jewish Andalusian music among other events.

March 10, 2022- Israel’s Younes and Suraya Nazarian Library of the University of Haifa and the UAE’s National Library and Archives signed an academic cooperation agreement that is the first of its kind between Israel and the UAE.

March 9, 2022- The UAE’s National Archives directors visited the National Library of Israel in the first visit by a member of the UAE’s National Archives.

March 9, 2022- Israel and Bahrain signed a cooperation agreement in the health and medical sector. 

March 9, 2022- The Israel Defense Force chief of staff traveled to Bahrain, the first time this has ever occurred, where he met with senior Bahraini officials including the chief of the Bahraini Defense Force. 

March 8, 2022- Jewish Insider and The Circuit hosted a lunch event at the UAE Embassy in Washington that featured U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog on the stage together for the first time.

March 8, 2022- The Atlantic Council hosted a discussion with the co-chairs of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Abraham Accords CaucusRep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.)

March 6, 2022- Israel Electric Corp (IEC) (ISECO.UL) and UAE-based sustainable investment firm Energroup signed a preliminary deal to develop blue and green hydrogen generation in Israel

March 6, 2022- The Moroccan karate team participated in a karate tournament in Israel for the first time.  

March 4, 2022- Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi visited the United Arab Emirates to meet with its Jewish community and other officials. 

March 2, 2022- Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) hosted a delegation of high-profile business leaders from Israel, as the two countries continue to explore bilateral growth and investments opportunities. 

March 1, 2022- The ‘Dubai-Israel: Future Horizons Mission' forum occurred at the headquarters of Dubai Chamber of Commerce, where 200 bilateral business meetings were held between Israeli and UAE companies.

March 1, 2022- New Jersey legislators introduced resolutions supporting the Abraham Accords.