The Abraham Accords and Israel–UAE normalization

Think tank: Chatham House

Author(s): Dr Sanam Vakil; Dr Neil Quilliam

March 28, 2023

This report from UK think tank Chatham House looks at shaping a new Middle East.

Since the Abraham Accords were signed by Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain in September 2020, relations between Israel and the UAE have evolved quickly. Normalization of Israel–UAE relations has enhanced the international and regional standing of both countries, enabled economic exchanges and presented strategic opportunities for defence cooperation. Normalization has also helped foster increased levels of diplomatic engagement and conflict de-escalation across the Middle East, as seen through an array of bilateral and multilateral initiatives such as the Baghdad summits, the Negev summit and the Israel–Lebanon Maritime Agreement. The US-led objective of creating an integrated regional security construct could also help build trust and defence cooperation among US allies. This research paper evaluates the Israel–UAE relationship and provides a comprehensive account of the economic, political and strategic developments since the Abraham Accords were signed. It also makes recommendations for leveraging the accords to ensure their continued success and the achievement of regional security integration.