Biden’s State Department spokesman Edward “Ned” Price avoided naming one of former President Donald Trump’s biggest foreign policy achievements in a press conference on Thursday.
When a reporter asked if the secretary of state has any plans to “have someone dedicated to pursuing Israeli relations or Israel’s engagement with the Arab world,” Price said the department already has people dedicated to “normalization.” When pressed by the reporter about what the department calls the Middle East normalization agreements, Price refused to name them.
“They’re normalization agreements,” Price repeated numerous times. “Look, we call them – we call them normalization agreements. That’s precisely what they are.”
“There’s a specific name that they all signed onto. I believe you know what it is,” the reporter continued. “Why do you not use the name that the leaders of these countries signed onto, which is the Abraham Accords? Why is that?”
“I’m not averse to using that,” Price claimed. “I’m describing what these are.”
When the reporter asked Price to use the name, the spokesman offered a short response explaining that the State Department’s policy is to use the term “normalization agreements.”
“Of course I can say the term ‘Abraham Accords,’ Matt,” Price retorted, “but we call them normalization agreements.”
Trump first declared “peace in the Middle East” in September when he signed the Abraham Accords and facilitated formal diplomatic agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Israel and Bahrain. Under the once-thought-impossible peace deals, all three nations sought to “establish embassies, exchange ambassadors, and begin to work together as partners.” Other priorities in the normalization agreements included promoting freer travel and religion.
Just one month after the historic peace deals, Trump ordered that Sudan be removed from the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list and ensured the nation would deepen Sudan’s engagement with the West by building relationships with Israel. In addition to normalizing relations and ending “belligerence between their nations,” Trump’s administration also facilitated an agreement promoting trade and cooperation negotiations between the nations that he said will bring “peace in the region.”