Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the US launched the Trilateral Religious Coexistence Working Group in Dubai on Monday, with an agenda of promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue and countering religious intolerance and hatred.
The new forum is a direct outcome of the historic Abraham Accords and was announced last October at the first trilateral meeting of the Foreign Ministers of all three countries.
The working group expects to expand its membership to include other Abraham Accord signatories, including Bahrain and Morocco, as well as other nations that have already normalized or that may be interested in normalizing relations with Israel.
Working with governments, established organizations, dedicated philanthropies, and leaders across the region, the working group will support a range of initiatives in areas of education, youth programming, and religious coexistence.
Some of these activities will be launched this year.
Emirati Minister of Health Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Elazar Stern, and US Under Secretary of State Uzra Zeya represented their respective governments.
“The Abraham Accords have become the most important force for positive change in the Middle East. To realize their full potential, we must reverse long-held mistrust, misconceptions and misgivings about one another. We must find new ways to encourage people-to-people engagement that bridges religions, cultures, and nationalities,” said UAE Minister Al Owais.
“Tolerance and coexistence are the paths to our shared humanity and peace. The Abraham Accords have shattered long-standing paradigms and now it is our duty to build on them and widen the circle of peace, regionally and globally, through these meetings of the Abrahamic faiths to send a clear message of reconciliation, acceptance and inclusion,” Minister Stern Added.