(March 12, 2023 / JNS) Israeli lawmaker Danny Danon was elected on Sunday to serve as a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Anti-Terrorism Committee.
Danon is currently heading an Israeli delegation at a conference in Bahrain hosted by the IPU—the largest inter-parliamentary organization in the world, with 179 national parliament members, including the Knesset, as well as 13 regional parliaments as associate members.
“I am proud to be taking part in leading the advocacy efforts of the State of Israel’s security policy in the international arena. My election by many world countries to this post is firm recognition of the challenges Israel faces in this regard, as well as our extensive know-how and capabilities in the fight against terrorism,” said Danon on Sunday.
“I intend to draw on my experience as Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations and the knowledge that the State of Israel has acquired on the subject for the benefit of the international community,” he added.
Danon was elected by secret ballot cast by representatives of 47 nations. He ran against legislators from Spain, Holland and Sweden.
The IPU’s Anti-Terrorism Committee, comprising lawmakers from 14 countries, meets several times a year to discuss global attacks and means to combat terrorism on an international scale.
Danon is heading the first group of Israeli lawmakers Bahrain since the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords normalized relations between Jerusalem and Manama in September 2020.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday thanked Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq Al Said for opening his country’s airspace to Israeli civilian flights.
Muscat announced the move in February following months of talks between the Israeli Foreign Ministry and authorities in Oman, and after Saudi Arabia last July announced during Biden’s visit to Israel the opening of its airspace to “all carriers,” paving the way for Israeli commercial airlines to overfly the kingdom.
The Saudi move had hitherto proved largely symbolic, as shortening flight times between Israel and countries such as India and China required a similar authorization from Oman.
Neither Oman nor Saudi Arabia has signed onto the Abraham Accords, which have also normalized Israel’s relations with the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan.
However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last month that he was actively courting Riyadh in an effort to persuade it to join in the accords as that would constitute a “quantum leap” towards regional peace.
“Obviously, the next step could be not just another country but a quantum leap in expanding the circle of peace, and I’m talking of course about peace with Saudi Arabia,” said Netanyahu. “I think that if we can achieve this, maybe through gradual steps, maybe it will take some normalization steps, it will change Israel’s relationship with the rest of the Arab world.”
According to reports, Israel is working to expand the Abraham Accords to four additional nations—Mauritania, Somalia, Niger and Indonesia.
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