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Blinken (L) with Israeli foriegn minister Yair Lapid. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken will hold a virtual meeting on Friday with his counterparts from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords.

Why it matters: This is the most active and public show of support by the Biden administration for the agreements, which were President Trump’s landmark foreign policy achievement.

Behind the scenes: Israeli, Emirati and Bahraini officials were pressing the Biden administration for the last two months to hold some kind of commemoration. Officials from the three countries tell Axios the Biden administration was non-committal and only in recent days suggested holding the virtual meeting.

  • “The event will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords and discuss ways to further deepen ties and build a more prosperous region," a senior State Department official told me.

Flashback: The Abraham Accords were signed on Sep. 15, 2020 at the White House by former President Trump, then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain.

  • The accords included the normalization of relations between Israel and the two Gulf states.
  • The next month, Israel and Sudan announced they would normalize relations.
  • Then in December, after the U.S. elections, Morocco renewed diplomatic relations with Israel in return for the U.S. recognizing the disputed Western Sahara as part of Morocco.

The big picture: Biden supported the Abraham Accords as a presidential candidate and reiterated his support after assuming office. But the Biden administration was reluctant to use the term “Abraham Accords,” which was directly connected to Trump’s legacy.

  • Still, the Biden administration took several steps to stabilize the agreements, including by allowing a deal to sell F-35 fighter jets to the UAE to go through and by maintaining Trump's recognition of Moroccan sovereignty in the Western Sahara
  • The Biden administration also followed through on a $700 million aid package to Sudan promised by Trump as part of the normalization deal with Israel.

What's next: The Biden administration is still working to finalize the Israel-Sudan agreement and to organize an official signing ceremony, as the Sudanese have requested. Administration officials say they're also working to convince more Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel.

Worth noting: Principal deputy assistant secretary of State for Near East affairs Yael Lampert attended a ceremony on Tuesday hosted by the Abraham Accords Institute for Peace, which was founded by Jared Kushner and former U.S. envoy Avi Berkowitz, who brokered the deals.

Go deeper

Oct 23, 2021 - World

U.S. envoy backs democratic transition to civilian rule in Sudan

Sudanese protesters take part in a protest in Port Sudan in the east of the country to demand the government's transition to civilian rule, on Oct. 21. Photo: Ibrahim Ishaq/AFP via Getty Images

Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman conveyed U.S. support for a democratic transition in Sudan during talks with the head of its ruling council and the prime minister, the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum wrote Saturday on Twitter.

Driving the news: "Feltman emphasized U.S. support for a civilian democratic transition in accordance with the expressed wishes of Sudan’s people," the embassy wrote.

Updated Oct 25, 2021 - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook's scandals have been great for shareholders

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios

Facebook has been embroiled in scandal for the past five years, and while the specific allegations change over time, a central theme is constant. Given the choice between commercial and moral imperatives, Facebook always seems to choose the option that is best for the share price.

Why it matters: Facebook's stock chart supports that narrative. Since the 2016 scandals alleging that the social network was infiltrated by foreign actors trying to influence the outcome of democratic elections, Facebook's revenues — and its stock — have been soaring.