Rome, December 12th, 2022 – Members of parliament and government, senior diplomats and faith leaders from over thirty countries representing six continents met in Rome on December 8th and 9th for the first Abraham Accords Global Leadership Summit where they committed to expand the circle of peace by promoting a culture of respect and dignity.
In his opening speech, conference host and former Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon presented the values which he believes will sustain the Abraham Accords, namely tolerance, coexistence and diversity, religion and family as well as economic peace. He added that the new Israeli government’s first priority will be to increase the number of signatories to the Abraham Accords.
In the two-day meeting delegates representing the three Abrahamic religions discussed how the forces of moderation and co-existence can prevail over extremism and radicalization. Iranian born Imam Mohammad Tawhidi, who is the Vice-President of the Global Imam Council, believed that peace between Israel and Iran is closer than ever.
“The people of Iran have seen the fruits of the Abraham Accords and have witnessed how fast peace can be built. They remember the days of Israeli tourists visiting Tehran and long for those days to return”, he said.
Leaders representing the European Union, among them former Prime Minister of Slovenia Alojz Peterle, stressed how the developments in the Abraham Accords reminded him about the early days of European integration when economic cooperation replaced distrust and rivalry.
Member of European Parliament Carlo Fidanza, representing the new Italian government, stressed how the world needs a culture of respect. “Tolerance is not enough”, he said, “we need to learn how to coexist in love and respect of each other.”
Representing the African continent, South Sudan’s Ambassador to the UN, Akuei Bona Malwal summed up the consequences of the Abraham Accords by explaining how many more people around the world can now eat cherry tomatoes without feeling guilty about it. Cherry tomatoes is but one example of Israeli innovations which has penetrated the world market and been made accessible to consumers around the world. He also revealed how Israelis are training South Sudanese students to replicate growing food and sending it through to other countries as exports.
Praising the developments in the Abraham Accords former Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini expressed his concern over the opposite developments in parts of Europe where extremism and radicalization seem to be a growing problem. He mentioned a recent example in his native Finland where a Jewish businessman is currently being targeted with a boycott because of his support for Israel.
In his closing remarks ECI’s Founding Director Tomas Sandell reminded the audience that normalization is modernization. He praised the leaders behind the Abraham Accords for their courage and visionary leadership and called for more European leaders to join this circle of peace by actively engaging with the Abraham Accords.