At WION Global Summit, leaders look forward to Joe Biden's peace initiatives in West Asia

WION Web Team
Dubai, United Arab EmiratesUpdated: Mar 24, 2021, 03:37 PM IST
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The power in the US has changed. And so have the dynamics that work around the deal. But there's no reason, the panelists at the WION Global Summit said, that the current US president, Joe Biden, should not support the pact.

India’s western neighbourhood, stretching from Iran to Turkey, has been in perpetual turmoil over the past several years. The developments in this region are of great  concern to the foreign policy making of many nations, especially the United States.

From Barack Obama and Donald Trump to now Joe Biden, the occupant of the White House has time and again invested in the development and peace deals of the West Asia region.

Israel and the UAE established ties in 2020 in a deal known as the Abraham Accords, a diplomatic coup for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and brokered by his staunch ally, former US president Donald Trump. Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have since followed suit with normalistation/ formalisation of ties with Israel.

Trump, often questioned for his demeanour, on Wednesday however found a likely support from his former aide at the WION Global Summit in Dubai.

Jason D Greenblatt, former White House Middle East envoy and part of Trump's team, defended the peace agreements.

"While some in this audience may not appreciate Donald Trump's tweets or his manner of speaking, they understand that speaking directly is key to solving issues," Greenblatt said.

The power in the US has changed. And so have the dynamics that work around the deal. But there's no reason that the current US President, Joe Biden, should not support the pact, the panelists at the WION Global Summit said.

"I don't see why Biden administration would not continue to support Abraham Accords. It has created momentum. We are at a stage where people are building peace," Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Deputy Mayor - Jerusalem and a prominent policy maker, said at the first session of the summit on Peace Deals and the Shifting Sands of West Asia.

Ibrahim Shukralla, Head of English Language News at WAM News, also batted for a continuance of the peace process, an absence of which he said would obstruct any peace in the future also.

"There should be a desire for peace by the Biden Adminstration and the Israelis. Resuming annexation plans would really obstruct any peace in the future," Shukralla said.

Fleur Hassan-Nahoum spoke about how the peace deal worked in favour of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has claimed victory in the recently held national polls, however, with no majority in exit polls in sight.

"The Abraham Accords have been a huge win for PM Netanyahu - something that has been absolutely appreciated by the citizens of the state of Israel. It was one of his key campaign issues," she said.

True to his campaign promise, Trump withdrew the US from the Iran deal in May 2018.

The peace deal was perhaps Trump’s single-most critical decision that had drastically changed the trajectory of American policy towards the Middle East region.

In this regard, Mustapha Noman, Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Yemen, said, "I have always said that the Iranians have not shown their willingness to be a peaceful government. We see them in Yemen, in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. It's all over the place."

"I think, not just US, but every country in this region should be at the negotiating table with Iran. I think the Europeans are far less relevant," Greenblatt added.

India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Japan's State Minister of Defence Nakayama Yasuhide, former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former US National Security Advisor John Bolton are among leaders who addressed WION Global Summit 2021.

Panelists focussed their attention on issues at the intersections of global politics, economy, diplomacy and our daily lives in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.