Brussels, June 2nd, 2023 – The European Parliament has launched a new initiative to support the diplomatic normalisation process between Israel and the Arab world, the so-called Abraham Accords. The announcement was made by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola during the official Israeli Independence Day reception in Brussels on Wednesday night.
In a telephone conversation with the European Coalition for Israel on Thursday, the convening chair of the new network, MEP David Lega from Sweden emphasised the great potential of the Abraham Accords for the Middle East as a whole. “When the treaty establishing the Coal and Steal Community was signed by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Netherlands in 1952 it was not clear to everyone that this treaty would lay the foundation for the longstanding peace project that would later become the European Union. I believe the Abraham Accords have the same potential to transform the Middle East”, he said.
“Expanding the Circle of Peace” was the theme of ECI’s 20th anniversary symposium in the European Parliament in March where MEP Lega was one of the keynote speakers together with the new network’s co-chair MEP Nicola Beer and vice chair MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen. At the conference Lega called upon the European Union to sign the Abraham Accords as a symbolic gesture of support. This is one of the five objectives of the new network which also include promoting understanding of the importance of the Abraham Accords, reacting to EU proposals and reports, formulating its own proposals and policy initiatives as well as joining forces with similar parliamentary caucuses around the world.
In a concept paper spelling out the vision of the new network, it reads that the Abraham Accords are based on mutual understanding and coexistence, as well as respect for human dignity and freedom, notably religious freedom.
In a statement on Thursday, ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell congratulated the initiators of the new network with a reminder of one of the conclusions of ECI’s 20th anniversary symposium in March: if peace through closer cooperation was possible in Europe it can also happen in the Middle East!