UAE, US, Israel launch religious coexistence and tolerance team

The three will work to advance a detailed and innovative plan for dialogue between different religions and cultures.

Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern, Emirati Helath Minister Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais and US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya launch religious coexistence team. (photo credit: Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, DC)
Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern, Emirati Helath Minister Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais and US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya launch religious coexistence team.
(photo credit: Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, DC)

The US, United Arab Emirates and Israel launched a joint working team that will promote religious coexistence and tolerance on Tuesday, just a day after the Abraham Accords states met at the Negev Summit in Israel.

The team is led by Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern, Emirati Health Minister Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais and US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya.

The three will work to advance a detailed and innovative plan for dialogue between different religions and cultures, as well as for the fight against hate on a religious basis.

The establishment of the team was announced during a meeting of foreign ministers from the three countries in October 2021 and as part of the Abraham Accords.

The team will work on a number of projects in various fields in the coming year. In the future, the team will expand to include additional countries which are parties to the Abraham Accords, have normalized relations with Israel or are interested in normalizing.

 Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern, Emirati Helath Minister Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais and US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya launch religious coexistence team. (credit: Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, DC) Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern, Emirati Helath Minister Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais and US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya launch religious coexistence team. (credit: Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, DC)

"The murderous terrorist attack in Hadera is another example of the importance of the initiative we started today, as part of the 'Abraham Accords.' Tolerance and coexistence are the paths to humanity and peace," said Stern.

"The 'Abraham Accords' have shattered long-standing perceptions and now it is our duty to build and expand the circle of peace in the region and the world," added the intelligence minister. "Through these meetings we send a clear message of reconciliation, acceptance and sharing. It is a great honor to lead Israel and the global Jewish community in this historic initiative."

"The Abraham Accords have become the most important force for positive change in the Middle East," said Al Owais. "In order to realize their full potential, we must overturn the peoples' mistrust, distorted perceptions and long-standing concerns towards each other. We must find new ways to encourage contact between peoples that will bridge different religions, cultures and nations."

"The Abraham Accords are one of the most significant strategic changes I have seen in the three decades I have been involved in diplomacy in the Middle East," said Zeya. "They bring clear benefits not only to the countries and peoples concerned, but also to the whole world."