Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 September 2020

Who attended the Abraham Accord signing?

Old hands in Middle East peace process gather in Washington to witness breakthrough moment

About 700 officials, diplomats, politicians and guests attended the signing on Tuesday of the peace accords normalising relations between the UAE, Bahrain and Israel.

Among those who witnessed the historic moment were officials and dignitaries with close ties to the pursuit of peace in the region.

They included some of the architects of the Oslo Accords, a set of agreements signed in the 1990s which led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority, which had limited self-governance over parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Terje Rod-Larsen, who was instrumental in the 1993 negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, was seen in the audience by veteran US diplomat and Middle East specialist Martin Indyk.

Mr Indyk served as US ambassador to Israel during two periods under president Bill Clinton and played a key role in the Oslo talks.

Tony Blair, former British prime minister and Middle East peace envoy for the Quartet of the UN, US, EU and Russia, was also a guest at the ceremony, which took place on the south lawn of the White House, where the Oslo I Accord was signed in 1993.

Mr Blair, who has long campaigned for closer ties between Israel and the Arab world, said the agreements were “a massive and welcome opportunity to recast the politics of the region”.

Diplomats from Oman and Sudan, two countries tipped as the next to normalise ties with Israel, were also in attendance.

A White House official earlier sparked speculation that Oman could be the next Gulf state to sign an accord with Israel, saying the sultanate’s ambassador to Washington was likely to attend.

Updated: September 16, 2020 01:45 AM

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