Liam Fox: Abraham’s accords were a “diplomatic sensation”
Former Conservative Cabinet Minister Dr Liam Fox suggested that if a normalization deal between Israel and two Arab states had been reached under Democratic administration in the United States, “the entire liberal press would demand a price of peace. “.
Speaking to Jewish News this week in his role as chairman of Britain’s Abrahamic Accord group, the conservative heavyweight hailed the deal with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates as a “diplomatic sensation.”
The former Secretary of Defense and International Trade added that because the agreements were signed under the Trump administration in August 2020, “there is a rather disturbing and disappointing silence.
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Fox’s comments came after reports emerged in the United States that new President Joe Biden’s team were trying to downplay the merits of the three-state Middle Eastern deal – and had even ceased to refer by name to the agreements of Abraham.
“I think in the United States, the current government is unlikely to give much credit to the previous administration,” the MP explained, “such is the tribal nature of American politics at the moment.”
The agreements had, Fox said, proved that the United States could make massive diplomatic changes.
“I hope the US administration takes this as the opportunity I think it is.”
Through his friends in the UK Accord group, Fox said he now wants to play a “constructive” role rather than just a “leader” to maximize the benefits of the deal.
As the anniversary of the agreement passes, he said he believed they represented “an extremely important statement of intent on peace and prosperity.”
He said that the three countries involved recognized that the agreement was not only aimed at developing their relations with each other, but “to strengthen the region as a whole”.
Asked about repeated criticism that the Accords did not fully resolve the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians and therefore failed to bring stability to the region, Fox strongly disagreed.
“I think the exact opposite,” he said. “What this shows is that the Arab world can work and improve its ties on issues such as prosperity and security with Israel.
“That Jews and Muslims can operate in an environment with religious tolerance and interfaith communications. “
He said that “far from isolating the Palestinian issue, it builds mutual trust which will be beneficial in the future.”
Fox added that not all the problems in the Middle East “can be directly linked to the Palestinians.”
He added: “This is not to downplay the problem – and I don’t think any of the three countries either. “
Reflecting on the changing diplomatic landscape over the past year – and the precipitous US withdrawal from Afghanistan – Fox referred to what appeared to be “lesser commitment to the region” under the new US president.
“On the one hand, you have what appears to be slightly less American engagement in the region and increased danger from Iran.
“Just at a time when no one thought Iranian politics could get worse is the case with the election of a new president,” he said.
“All of these things are happening and that makes the Accords even more important. “
He said there was also a “bigger global challenge” at stake.
“We spent most of 1,400 years arguing between the three great Abrahamic religions,” he explains.
“With the rise of China, we are examining an anti-religious and atheist culture that suppresses all forms of religion. “
The change of government in Israel since the deal was signed under Benjamin Netanyahu had so far made little difference, he said.
And when it comes to other normalization agreements, Fox singled out both Morocco and Sudan.
Fox said he was invited into his role as UK chairman of the Accords group by the respective ambassadors of the three countries.
He got to know them well through his work in defense and trade as a government minister.
“I think they thought I was a natural fit for the role and of course I was more than happy to take the offer,” he adds.