The Biden administration is cautious when it comes to addressing the concessions made by Donald Trump to encourage peace between Arab states, including Morocco, and Israel. Twenty senators recommended in a bill financial support for this process.
Democrat and Republican senators have all urged the Biden administration to support normalization agreements between Arab countries and Israel. A group of senators from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduced the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021 to back this demand.
The bill was drafted by U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and thirteen other senators, reads a press release published on March 26.
«I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation that reaffirms the United States’ commitment to strengthen and expand these historic agreements».
US Senator Rob Portman
The bill urges the Biden administration to build upon the success of the Abraham Accords, strengthen and expand these normalization agreements. It also calls on assessing «areas of cooperation such as economic, social, cultural, scientific, technical, educational, and health fields, as well as identification of potential roadblocks in these sectors to increase cooperation among states».
Said bill also gave a detailed «description of how the U.S. Government will leverage diplomatic lines of effort and resources from other stakeholders (including from foreign governments, international donors, and multilateral institutions) to encourage normalization, economic development, and people-to-people programming».
«Expanding the Abraham Accords to strengthen the relationship between Israel and its neighbors is not only a vital U.S. security interest, but is also important for peace and economic prosperity in the region».
US Senator Cory Booker
War on terrorism brought Morocco $700 million in US aid
The bill requires the «identification of existing investment funds that support Israel-Arab state cooperation and recommendations for how such funds could be used to support normalization and increase prosperity for all relevant stakeholders».
The move by Republican and Democrat senators comes as the Biden administration has announced its intention to assess concessions made by President Trump to encourage the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan to sign peace accords with Tel Aviv. At the end of January, Washington announced the suspension of the sale of F-35 to Abu Dhabi, but maintained the recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara.
«There are certain commitments that have been made in the context of the normalization of their relations with Israel by these countries, which I think we should examine carefully», said Antony Blinken on January 19 during his appearance before the Foreign Affairs committee ahead of his appointment.
For the record, a year after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush launched the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an ambitious aid program intended to support development in Islamic countries in order to reduce the influence of extremist groups. Then, Morocco benefited from $ 697.5 million.