US, Israel and UAE to Launch Two Working Groups on Religion and Energy

The US, together with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel will launch two working groups as part of Washington’s plans to promote the normalization of relations between the Jewish state and Arab countries, high-ranking State Department officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

According to one official, Washington welcomes economic cooperation between Israel and Arab countries in the Middle East. “We hope that normalization can be applied to advance progress on the Israeli-Palestinian track,” said the senior US official.

However, US officials did not specify exactly how Washington intends to use the Abraham Accords, agreements between Israel and Arab countries, as a tool to make progress in the perennial conflict under consideration.

According to one official, the administration of US President Joe Biden has made a clear commitment to the two-state solution: Israel and Palestine.

Thus, at the trilateral meeting in Washington, representatives of the foreign ministries of the United States, the UAE and Israel will create two working groups, one of which will focus on religious tolerance, and the others will address energy topics.

According to the State Department source, the working groups will aim to connect important US partners in the region, while finding new ways to tackle old issues in Israel and the UAE.

The meeting of the foreign ministers of the three countries will take place on October 13 in Washington. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will first receive Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan separately. He will then hold a three-way meeting with both of them.

In addition to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, diplomats are expected to discuss prospects for a long-term ceasefire in Yemen, the situation in Syria, ways to resolve the crisis in Lebanon, and Washington’s return to a nuclear deal with Tehran.

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