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Thank you, Gilad, for your kind words.
Shana Tova, and welcome to you all. Thank you for joining us today as we mark the first anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords.
One year ago, at the signing of the accords at the White House, my Foreign Minister, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “I stand here today to extend a hand of peace and receive a hand of peace.”
This extending of hands certainly has been mutual between the countries represented here today. For us in the United Arab Emirates, the peace with Israel has been a warm peace.
We anticipated new investments, academic partnerships, and joint research initiatives to advance renewable energy, water security, and public health. What we did not anticipate, and what we have been inspired to witness, is how the creativity and curiosity of our people truly ignited once political impediments were removed. Emiratis and Israelis did not lose any time in finding each other online, exploring and embracing our respective cultures, and booking a seat on those first El Al, Etihad, and Emirates flights between our countries. Today, our reunions and celebrations are enthusiastically documented on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
And we have only just begun. As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, ties between our countries will continue to deepen and grow, in ways that benefit not just the people of our countries, but the entire Middle Eastern region. The flourishing of the Jewish community in the UAE, the first new Jewish community established in an Arab country in centuries, is just one proof of how the three Abrahamic religions can live and work side by side in our region in peace.
And as we face multitudes of challenges in our region, it is also our hope that the optimism the accords generate leads to a lasting agreement between Palestinians and Israelis, who deserve to live in peace and security.
The road ahead will inevitably include disappointments and setbacks. We do not live in a perfect world, but we want to live in an optimistic one. But I am confident that, as we mark the anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords in future years, the courage and vision of the countries entering into this agreement will turn out to have stood the test of time, as the Abraham Accords we hope, God willing, it will lead to a more stable, more peaceful, and more prosperous Middle East for all.
Thank you again for being with us today.