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October 2022 was another busy month for the Abraham Accords. On the diplomatic front, Israel signed the contract for the construction of its new permanent Embassy in Bahrain, and plans for Morocco to host the “Negev 2 Summit” in Dakhla were made public. On the commercial front, Bahrain’s Minister of Industry and Commerce led a delegation to Israel and Israel signed agriculture deals with both Morocco and Bahrain. Events celebrating the Accords occurred in the United Kingdom and Italy among others, and conferences were held in the fields of education, agriculture, and healthcare. Additionally, performances and paratrooper jumps demonstrated the increasing depth of ties between Abraham Accords countries.
 
This month's newsletter includes our new Abraham Accords in Depth section, highlighting the potential for cooperation in various areas. This month's analysis looks at the potential for leveraging multilateral educational cooperation among the Accords' member nations.

 

Abraham Accords in Depth: Leveraging education to strengthen the Accords
This month we look at the potential for Accords countries to cooperate multilaterally on educational initiatives for strengthening ties and improving economic outcomes. 
 
The Abraham Accords have created countless opportunities for member countries to leverage their unique capabilities for addressing shared challenges. One critical issue that can be addressed through Abraham Accords cooperation is the “youth challenge”, perhaps the most pressing challenge facing the Middle East in the 21st century.
 
In a region where almost 65% of the population is under the age of 30, long term prosperity and stability hinges on creating opportunities for the younger generation.

The Middle East’s burgeoning youth population could be a powerful tool for creating growth and prosperity. Yet despite concerted policy efforts in the first decade of the 21st century, by 2010, the region had failed to improve employment outcomes for its youth. In some countries, youth frustration over social, economic, and political exclusion, exploded in 2011 into widespread protests and unrest.
 
The challenges facing MENA youth today are as stark as ever. Youth unemployment rates in the MENA region have been among the highest in the world for over 25 years, reaching 30 percent in 2017. Such unemployment impacts numerous other fields, including housing, marriage and civic participation.
 
The historic Abraham Accords peace agreements provide an opportunity for new collaboration in the crucial field of education, enabling the development of human capital, matching skills to the needs of the 21st century interconnected economy, and creating new jobs. Greatly expanding academic exchange programs in the wake of the Accords can provide an opportunity for next generation talent to learn together in an academic environment, and then translate those skills and cross-cultural experiences to the economic sector.
 
In the framework of such exchange programs, the participants will also have the opportunity to study each other’s history, heritage and culture, thereby fostering mutual understanding, encouraging a healthy exchange of views, and forging lasting bonds. Such experiences promote tolerance, and enrich each student’s appreciation of the common humanity in every society.
 
The logic of academic exchange programs between Abraham Accords countries has already begun to be realized. In the summer of 2022, a delegation of four Moroccan students studied at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University for the summer semester in a first-of-its-kind cooperation between Israeli and Moroccan universities. The four students studied in the university’s data science and health system programs, with students from around the world. Several Emirati students have already enrolled in Israeli universities as well. While these are promising developments, they are just scratching the surface of what is possible.
 
A realistic model for an Abraham Accords academic exchange program that could be implemented in a timely manner could be as follows: Each respective Abraham Accords government would nominate a group of undergraduate or graduate students to the program annually, based on their demonstrated potential for leadership in the public or private sector. Selected students would study at the flagship academic institutions of another Abraham Accords country. Participating Arab member states could also each select a Palestinian student to join the cohort, providing an opportunity to build bridges across the political divide. Additionally, the entire cohort from all the countries would convene in a designated country for a week of shared learning, cultural exchange and dialogue. New virtual education platforms could compliment in-person programs.
 
In addition to programs geared towards students, faculty and research exchange programs should be encouraged and advanced. Such a program would create a wider experience for faculty members from diverse backgrounds, enable broad exposure for students from visiting faculty and thought leaders, and promote increased opportunities for faculty and fellows to collaborate across institutions. Like its student counterpart, this program could feature symposiums attended by the entire cohort aimed at building bonds of understanding and friendship between academic colleagues.
 
Every student or faculty member who participates in these exchange programs would become an ambassador for the Abraham Accords, and the potential these peace agreements represent for the region and the world. These individuals would bring their experiences back to their communities and institutions, and share them with colleagues and friends. While developing diplomacy and business ties are important, education can and should play a vital role in ensuring a brighter future for the region’s youth, in the spirit of the Abraham Accords.
  • Trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached $205.2 Million in September 2022, constituting a 128% increase in trade from September 2021. For the first nine months of 2022, bilateral trade was $1.828 Billion, constituting a 122% increase in trade from the first nine months of 2021.
  • Trade between Israel and Bahrain increased to $1.4 Million in September 2022, constituting a 367% increase in trade from September 2021. For the first nine months of 2022, bilateral trade reached $10 Million, constituting a 1,567% increase from the first nine months of 2021.
  • Trade between Israel and Morocco reached $4.5 Million in September 2022, constituting a 59% decrease in trade from September 2021. For the first nine months of 2022, bilateral trade reached $31.6 Million, constituting a 7% decrease in trade from the first nine months of 2021.
  • Trade between Israel and Egypt increased to $22.1 Million in September 2022, constituting an 8% increase in trade from September 2021. For the first nine months of 2022, bilateral trade reached $234.3 Million, constituting a 43% increase in trade from the first nine months of 2021.
  • Trade between Israel and Jordan was $41.7 Million in September 2022, constituting a 34.5% increase in trade from September 2021. For the first nine months of 2022, bilateral trade reached $398.1 Million, constituting a 34% increase in trade from the first nine months of 2021.
Note: Trade data published by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics is published monthly for the preceding month. SOURCE: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
Below you can find a timeline of notable Abraham Accords-related events that occurred in the month of October 2022:

October 4-5, 2022: Yom Kippur services were held in several locations across the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.
 
October 4-6, 2022: A US Congressional staff delegation from the Abraham Accords Caucus visited the Gulf, where they met with the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Minister of Climate Change & Environment, TRENDS Research and Advisory in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain’s Shura Council Secretariat General, and others. 
 
October 9-16, 2022- Many Moroccan etrogs (citrons) made their way to Israel for this year's Sukkot holiday as a result of the increased trade ties between the countries brought about by the Abraham Accords.
 
October 11, 2022- For the first time ever, the United Arab Emirates and Israel performed together at the Festival of Lights in Berlin.
 
October 12, 2022- In a demonstration of the bipartisan character of U.S. support for the Abraham Accords, the Biden Administration’s National Security Strategy included the following language: “We will seek to extend and deepen Israel’s growing ties to its neighbors and other Arab states, including through the Abraham Accords, while maintaining our ironclad commitment to its security.”

October 18, 2022- The Moroccan national institute of agronomy and Israel’s Volcani center of agricultural research agreed to enhance cooperation, and exchange experience and know-how in farming and agricultural research. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 1st international conference on food production technologies from the sea & desert, held from 18 to 20 October in Israel.
 
October 19, 2022- Bahrain’s Minister of Municipalities Affairs & Agriculture H.E. Waal bin Nasser Al Mubarak made his first visit to Israel as part of the Agrisrael Sea the Future Summit.
 
October 19, 2022-The agriculture ministers of Israel and Bahrain signed a first-of-its-kind agreement to boost bilateral cooperation in agriculture, livestock and food security. The agreement between the two Abraham Accords countries was part of the first international conference on food scarcity and climate technologies organized by Israel's Agriculture Ministry.
 
October 23, 2022- The two-year anniversary of the announcement that Sudan would join the Abraham Accords.
 
October 23, 2022- The president of the UN General Assembly appointed Israel and Morocco’s ambassadors to lead a decision on preventing and handling the next epidemic. This was the first time ever that Israel was appointed to lead an assembly resolution on behalf of the UN.
 
October 24, 2022- The Chairman of Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center signed a cooperation agreement with the Minister of Education of Kosovo.
 
October 24, 2022- The General Director of Israel’s Ministry of Education spoke about Israeli innovation in education at a forum hosted by the UAE Ministry of Education.
October 10, 2022
The United Arab Emirates embassy to the United Kingdom hosted a reception to celebrate the second anniversary of the signing the Abraham Accords, with the participation of the embassies of Bahrain, Israel, and the United States of America. The ceremony was also attended by members of the House of Commons and Lords, and senior British government officials, diplomats and businessmen.
October 24, 2022
Israel’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain signed the contract for the construction of Israel’s new permanent embassy in Manama.
October 26, 2022
BioSTL’s Agrifood Innovation Symposium brought together leaders of the Missouri and American food & beverage industries, agriculture, and scientific communities, with their counterparts in Israel and the UAE. The event, co-sponsored by the Abraham Accords Peace Institute, introduced cutting-edge innovations in agtech and aimed to catalyze new forms of cooperation between the three dynamic and fast-growing agrifood ecosystems.
 
October 27, 2022
For the first time, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), together with other Israeli defense companies, will exhibit at the prestigious Bahrain International Airshow, taking place November 9-11th. The Israeli delegation will be led by ISDEF. IAI announced that it will showcase a variety of its state-of-the-art aviation products, including civil aviation, radars and avionics, air defense systems, coastal guard and drone guard systems.
October 24, 2022- According to reports, Morocco will host the "Negev 2 Summit" in the desert city of Dakhla in January 2023, to be attended by the Foreign Ministers of the United States, Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, and Morocco.
 
October 25, 2022- AAPI’s Executive Director Robert Greenway joined the Cleveland Council on World Affairs to discuss the progress and potential of the Abraham Accords. 
 
October 26, 2022- The Ambassadors of Bahrain and Israel to Italy participated in a panel discussion entitled “The Abraham Accords”, which was organized by the Center for American Studies in Rome as part of the thirteenth Diplomacy Festival.

October 27, 2022- As part of the growing momentum behind regional normalization that was set in to motion by the Abraham Accords, the chairman of Israel’s Bank Leumi spoke at Saudi Arabia’s flagship investment conference in Riyadh. Later in the week, Israeli Olympian triathlete Shachar Sagiv became the first Israeli to compete in Saudi Arabia.
 
October 27, 2022- A delegation of paratroopers from Israel took part in a jump over Bahrain alongside soldiers from Bahrain, the UAE and the United States to mark two years since the signing of the Abraham Accords.
 
October 28-29, 2022- The 1st International Middle East Fetal-Neonatal Cardiovascular Disease Conference took place in Abu Dhabi. During the conference, for which AAPI’s Executive Director Robert Greenway provided opening remarks, leading experts from the United States, UAE, Israel, and Europe came together to discuss the latest standards and innovations related to fetal and neonatal cardiovascular care.
 
October 30, 2022- A Bahrain business delegation to Israel, organized by the Bahrain Economic Development Board and led by H.E. Minister of Industry and Commerce Zayed R. Alzayani, took part in a seminar in Tel Aviv on “Business Opportunities in Bahrain”, with the participation of Israeli business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs. An agreement between Israel and Bahrain’s Export Institutes was also signed. The previous day, Minister Alzayani met with Israel’s President Herzog.
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