The Abraham Accords, the pact normalizing relations between Israel and a number of her Arab neighbors which was brokered by the Trump administration, will likely experience setbacks under a Biden administration, discouraging additional Arab countries from joining.
“The peace process may face some setback or slow progress if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins,” Ayoob Kara, former Israeli minister of communications told the Khaleej Times, echoing the fear of many lawmakers and experts that as president, Biden will seek to reverse many of the Trump-era foreign policy moves.
This comes as Saudi Arabia, along with six more Arab countries, have signaled that they are ready to sign onto the Abraham Accords in the next month, according to Kara.
Biden has made campaign promises to “reassess our relationship with the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia].” If a Biden administration follows through on this promise, the potential for the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel may be at risk.
The improved relations Trump facilitated between Saudi Arabia and Israel were intended in part to strengthen Middle Eastern security against Iran.
Biden has expressed intent to return to the Iran deal, signifying an approach to Iran starkly contrasting Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy.
Biden has openly supported the peace accords established between the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel. However, he is also expected to move away from Trump’s staunch policy of Israeli support by sending aid to the Palestinians and renewing cordial relations with the Palestinian Authority.
It is unclear whether Biden will be able to successfully pursue both the Abraham Accords and improved relations with Palestinians, as the Palestinians view the peace accords as a “betrayal.”
If Biden’s approach to Middle Eastern policy reflects that of President Obama, the peace process will likely experience significant delays at best.
“The historic peace accord reached between the UAE and Israel on September 15 had been delayed for years due to the stiff resistance put up by the U.S. administration of Barack Obama,” stated Kara.
While swift progress may not be a predicted possibility under a Biden Administration, Kara believes the peace process “is now an irreversible journey of progress and prosperity for both most countries of the Arab world and Israelis” due in large part to President Trump, who “laboriously” negotiated the Abraham Accords.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed onto the Abraham Accords in September, a historic step towards Arab recognition of Israel as a legitimate state.