The Abraham Accords are a shining example of innovation diplomacy

September 15, 2021

By Avi Hasson

The images from one year ago showing leaders from the US, the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel signing the Abraham Accords on the White House lawn will be forever etched in the memory of the people of our region. Though officially a normalisation treaty, the Abraham Accords represent a coming together of forward-looking nations, a warm peace founded on similar values, and a desire to leverage innovation and cooperation to connect people, overcome regional challenges and benefit from shared opportunities.

At Start-Up Nation Central, a not-for-profit organisation that connects global entities to the Israeli tech innovation sector, we are strong believers in innovation diplomacy — employing innovation to connect and build long-term relations between countries.

The Abraham Accords provide perhaps the most striking example of this new foundation for international relations — nations that identified such immense opportunity in each other’s capabilities, that they forged binational ties to make them flourish.

Looking back at the past year, I couldn’t be more pleased with the way things are going. The moment the Accords were signed, we knew it was our responsibility to open the doors as part of our mission to leverage the diplomatic agreement into mutually beneficial business ties. I believe that the fields that offer the best opportunities for cooperation are those in which we share the same challenges and thus are searching for similar solutions, whether it be climate conditions, geostrategic threats, or the shared battle against infectious diseases. With our respective strength working together we can form a regional powerhouse of innovative solutions to global challenges.

The commercial potential of the Accords is gradually materialising, with tens of thousands of Israelis having visited the UAE in recent months, scores of Israeli companies carrying out activities in the GCC, numerous contracts and MOUs signed, and a series of government and business delegations that promise many more collaborations in the future. Start-Up Nation Central itself has had the honour to host prominent figures, including the UAE Ambassador to Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, the UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security, Mariam Bint Mohammad Al Muhairi, and Bahrain’s Undersecretary for International Relations, Dr Shaikh Abdulla Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, all with an eye to expanding innovation-driven partnerships.

The seeds that were planted a year ago are beginning to bear fruit. As the world turns its eyes to the post-pandemic era and the new digital age, I believe we will see many more cases of innovation diplomacy, with the Abraham Accords setting a shining example for the rest of the world.


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