Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate: 'Abraham Accords created conceptual approach to peacemaking in region'

'There will be a lot of opportunities going forward under this ‘parallel normalisation’ if we can create and shape a better reality with other Arab countries'


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Agencies file
Agencies file

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2021, 1:04 PM

The Abraham Accords is a “new threshold and reality in the region, creating a different conceptual approach to peacemaking," a political expert said on Monday.

During a panel discussion on Abraham Accords at the the Abu Dhabi Strategic Dialogue, which concluded on Monday, Ambassador Dennis Ross, Counsellor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said the traditional concept was that you cannot normalise Arab-Israel relations unless you resolve the Palestinian issue.

He said “we need a two-state outcome but for that to happen, the Palestinians have to be prepared to make decisions.”

Dr. Jawad Anani, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Jordan, said the Abraham Accords was a game-changer as everyone had to adjust to this new reality. “Whether it will have the desired effect remains to be seen. However, we have to change the perception on the ground and unless we become more empathetic to Palestinians, the situation will not change,” Dr. Anani said.

Udi Dekel, Managing Director and Senior Research Fellow, Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Tel Aviv University, said the Abraham Accords may or may not be a game-changer yet, but has the potential to change the rules of the game. “One of Abraham Accords’ objectives was to be not to get stuck in the past. There will be a lot of opportunities going forward under this ‘parallel normalisation’ if we can create and shape a better reality with other Arab countries,” he said.

During a discussion on “The Arab World at Crossroads”, Dr. Abdel Monem Said, Chairman of the Advisory Council, Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies, and Senator in the Egyptian Council, said the Arab Spring changed the region in many ways. “It is not over yet as its repercussions are continuing for the good and the bad,” he said.

Dr. Randa Slim, Senior Fellow and Director, Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues Program at the Middle East Institute, said there is a momentum for de-escalation in the region. “There are some challenges to the de-escalation trend, among which is the huge trust deficit. Moreover, the region has had a deficit of conflict management systems,” she said.


Discussing the decline of political Islam, Dr. Abdullah Al-Seyid Wald Abah, Professor of Philosophy and Social Studies, University of Nouakchott, enumerated the differences within political Islam. “The ideology of political Islam is unable to transform to liberalism and is unable to comprehend pluralist democracies,” he said, adding that political Islam groups such as the Brotherhood managed to take control of the larger Islamic rhetoric.

Moroccan Writer and Anthropologist, Dr. Mohammed Al-Maazouz, said the decline of political Islam is a generalisation. “It may fade away politically, but it stays as an ideology even though it could not give solutions to economic problems in Arab societies,” he said.


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