“AJC played an integral role in laying the foundation for the Abraham Accords over the years. I cannot stress enough the importance of his contribution, which makes his new office here so natural and also so necessary as we work together to expand peace and understanding in the region,” said Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Defense, Internal Affairs and External Affairs Committees of the UAE Federal National Council. He joined the CEO of AJC DavidHarrisAJC Abu Dhabi Director Ambassador Markus Sieversand AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer Jason Isaacson cutting the ribbon at the entrance to the new office.
“The opening of AJC Abu Dhabi is the culmination of a process of building trust and working together in pursuit of common goals that began years, even decades, before the Abraham Accords,” said Isaacson, who led the AJC consultations Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries for more than 25 years. “In a region and a world that has seen too much war, it manifests our commitment to work together with partners in the Arab world and Israelto make peace.”
At a reception celebrating the launch of AJC Abu Dhabi, CEO of AJC DavidHarris addressed diplomats, business leaders, Emirati and Israeli diplomat-trainees and representatives of the Gulf Jewish community who filled the ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel. Diplomats from 12 countries — Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Poland, Bahrainthe UAE and The United States — attended the reception.
“We are the answer to war – all of us in this room. No matter what language we speak, we strive for peace. Real peace – not just a signed piece of paper, but the realization of peace, mutual respect, mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation, coexistence, standing up for one another. Those are the elements of peace,” Harris explained.
AJC Abu Dhabi’s inaugural reception was added for the first time during a week-long visit to the Gulf Bahrain and then to the UAE. in the manamaHis Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Received the AJC delegation at the Royal Palace and spoke on the importance of the US-Bahrani friendship and partnership and the need for greater US regional cooperation middle East. AJC honored the King of Bahrain with the Architect of Peace Award in 2019.
in the Bahrain the AJC group also met Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohamed Al KhalifaAdvisor to His Majesty the King for Diplomatic Affairs; Sheikh Mohamed bin Mubarak Al KhalifaDeputy Prime Minister; Sheikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Secretary of State for Political Affairs; and ambassador Houda Nonooa leading company in Bahrains Jewish community that served as the country’s ambassador to the United States (2008-2013). They also met with US chargé d’affaires Maggie Nardie, Israeli ambassador to Bahrain Eitan Na’eh, and French deputy chief of mission Emmanuel Mayer, and visited the newly restored House of the Ten Commandments synagogue – the only functioning synagogue in the Gulf.
After a one-day visit to Bahrainthe AJC delegation arrived in the UAE where they met Abu Dhabi with Dr. Al NuaimiMinister of Education Hussein bin Ibrahim Al Hammadiand judges Mohammed AbdelsalamGeneral Secretary of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.
The group also met with US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Sean Murphy and the Israeli Ambassador Emir Hayek.
At Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA) AJC CEO DavidHarris and Nickolay MladenowActing Director General and Director of Research and Analysis of AGDA, formerly the UN Coordinator of the Middle East Peace Process, held a meeting with Emirati and Israeli diplomatic cadets studying at the UAE institution.
Based in Abu Dhabi, AGDA is the main training center for Emiratis pursuing a career in diplomacy and further education for UAE diplomats. Last September, on the first anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, AGDA and AJC launched one educational collaboration that aims to explore the multidimensional components of the evolving Emirati-Israeli relationship by engaging the next generation of American, Israeli, and Emirati leaders in political, economic, academic, and diplomatic discussions about the future of the Emirati middle East.
The AJC delegation also visited Dubai Expo 2020, including the Israel Pavilion – the presence of which was announced by the UAE authorities even before the historic normalization of relations with the Abraham Accords Israel in 2020.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee