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June 05, 2023

Bipartisan group of lawmakers urge expanding Abraham Accords into Africa

Credit: Jewish Insider

The Abraham Accords could form a central part of the U.S. strategy toward Africa and “a new path to advance peace and stability in Africa,” a bipartisan group of 29 lawmakers suggested in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week.

The lawmakers urged the administration to work to facilitate further normalization between Israel and African nations, and “seize the opportunity to integrate and expand the successes of the Abraham Accords into our broader Africa strategy” as “a vital tool to advance our support for long-term regional, economic, and strategic interests in Africa.”

Led by Reps. John James (R-MI), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL), the lawmakers urged the administration to take a more expansive view of the Accords as not just “a foundation for peace in the Middle East” but also a “mechanism to build multilateral partnerships and networks capable of promoting cooperation among nations” and combat Chinese and Russian efforts to assert their influence on the continent.

They urged the State Department to invite African nations to a potential upcoming Negev Forum Summit, with opportunities to address a series of challenges for the African continent, and requested that the department provide them with a written strategy for advancing Israeli normalization on the African continent.

“As African nations look to world powers for partnership, the United States and other Accord member countries can demonstrate the economic and political successes that the Accords have already rendered since their signing,” the letter reads.

Morocco was a signatory to the Abraham Accords, as was Sudan, although the normalization process with the latter is on pause amid civil unrest in the East African nation. Israel had offered to mediate between warring Sudanese military factions, but those efforts did not proceed.

The letter was co-signed by Reps. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), David Trone (D-MD), Jennifer Gonález-Colón (R-PR), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Dina Titus (D-NV), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Tom Kean (R-NJ), Don Bacon (R-NE), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Cory Mills (R-FL), Nathaniel Moran (R-TX), Susie Lee (D-NV), Keith Self (R-TX), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Mark Green (R-TN) and Darren Soto (D-FL).