Few days ago I made a little history in Accra and met with the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Khalifa Yousif Alzaabi. That was the first meeting ever of an Israeli and Emirati ambassadors in Ghana and it was very successful. During the meeting, which was hosted in a very generous way by the ambassador, we talked about the huge potential this step has and its impact in Africa.
The peace agreement between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain, which was signed in September 15th this year, is a historic moment that brings together some of the most prominent states in the Middle East for the good of humanity. Combining forces and finding common grounds has never been more urgent than now, in the midst of a global pandemic, and the Abraham Accord is set to generate immediate results.
The leaders of Israel, the United States and the UAE hailed the agreement as a “historic diplomatic breakthrough that will advance peace in the Middle East”, “chart a new path”, and “unlock the great potential in the region”. Moreover, the Health Ministers of both Israel and the UAE have already agreed to cooperate on healthcare issues, particularly coronavirus, as well as to set up business delegations and a student exchange program.
But the impact of this historic agreement is not limited only for the Middle East, it has a huge potential – all over the world, to Africa and of course, to Ghana. For example, in the first commercial agreement after Israel and the UAE announced the normalization of relations, an Emirati investment firm and Israeli tech company signed an agreement to jointly research and develop a coronavirus testing device that will diagnose the disease more quickly and precisely. The two countries have also committed to work together on medical research and pharmaceuticals, collaborating particularly in the development of treatments and vaccine trials for COVID-19. This agreement will help to make a rapid progress in the COVID-19 research and eventually the vaccination should reach Ghana and the whole of Africa.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates are both young countries that have managed to develop dynamic and thriving economies in just a few decades. Both are at the cutting-edge of innovation and technology and share in the same entrepreneurial spirit, and both will gain from the expansion of trade and commercial ties. I personally believe that in places like Ghana, where both Israel and the UAE have an embassy, we will be the first to see the fruits of this peace. These initiatives and collaborations represent just a drop in the ocean of what is to come in the normalization of relations between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain. The citizens of all three countries will undoubtedly see their lives enriched as a result of this agreement, paving the way for increasingly more countries in the world. I hope that we will soon realize the vast potential that exists in making peace with Israel, like Ghana did years ago.
The challenges we are facing today knows no boundaries, and it is essential that we combine our capabilities for the benefit of all of our citizens. I call on all those following this historic moment to voice their support for the agreement, and to encourage others to do the same.