Former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is forming an organization focused on deepening the normalization agreements he helped strike between Israel and four Arab countries.
The Abraham Accords Institute for Peace will work to promote relations between the nations and build on what many people consider Trump’s biggest foreign policy achievement, Axios reported.
Agreements Israel reached with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco in September arguably were the biggest breakthrough for relations between Israel and the Arab world in 25 years.
According to a statement, the institute will aim to increase trade and tourism between the five countries and develop programs to foster people-to-people connections between the countries.
"[It will] provide analysis of the benefits of normalization and the potential benefits additional Arab countries can receive if they join the Abraham Accords," the statement said.
The non-partisan, non-profit Abraham Accords Institute for Peace will have a five-year mandate and be funded through private donations.
People who helped Kushner form the institute include former White House envoy Avi Berkowitz, who helped negotiate the agreements; Israeli-American businessman and Democrat donor Haim Saban; the Emirati and Bahraini ambassadors to Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba and Abdulla R. Al-Khalifa; and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
"The energy and enthusiasm for the Accords across the region is truly remarkable," the group said in a joint statement.
"In less than a year, this warm peace is melting decades of misunderstanding and hostility across the region. This is a peace among peoples as much as it is among nations. This will be the institute’s focus — to nurture and deepen these human connections."
Rob Greenway, formerly the top Middle East advisor on Trump's national security council, will be executive director.
The AAIP board, still being comprised, is expected to include representatives from Morocco and Sudan.
Founders also want to add more democrats and advisers from the region, Axios said.
The Biden administration has said it wants to build on the accords, perhaps adding additional countries.
Biden spoke with Emirati Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed on Tuesday and said normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel was of strategic importance to the U.S.
The Abraham Accords marked the first Arab steps to normalize ties with Israel since signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
The Palestinians opposed the agreements, saying they violated pledges from Arabs not to make peace until Israel withdraws from occupied lands, Reuters reported.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touted the Trump administration's successes in the Middle East, including the Abraham Accords, which "revealed decades of failed negotiations."
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