China, Oman to top agenda in Blinken-Lapid meeting

Oman is widely believed to be on the verge of joining the Abraham Accords.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The dangers of partnering with China on critical infrastructure within Israel and the rumored addition of Oman to the Abraham Accords are likely to top the agenda during Wednesday’s meeting between Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“We will be candid with our Israeli friends over risks to our shared national security interests that come with close cooperation with China,” a State Department official told media in Washington just before the meeting.

The State Department demurred from naming their specific concerns about China, saying in a statement that “the U.S. views China as a competitor that challenges the existing international rules-based order, our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be.”

The Iranian nuclear threat will also likely be discussed.

During a meeting on Tuesday with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Lapid “conveyed Israel’s concerns about Iran’s race toward nuclear capabilities and that Iran was on the verge of becoming a nuclear threshold state,” read a statement from his office.

The meeting between Israel and the U.S.’ top diplomatic officials comes as rumors swirl that another Arab country will join the Abraham Accords normalization agreement and forge diplomatic relations with the Jewish State.

Currently, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan have joined the agreement, creating a relationship with Israel for the first time since the country’s inception in 1948.

Oman is widely believed to be on the verge of joining the agreement.

In 2018, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was hosted in the gulf kingdom by its then-Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

On the heels of a report naming Oman as the next to join the agreement, a senior American diplomatic official told Israel Hayom, “We are actively working to expand the Abraham Accords. I don’t intend to discuss any specific country, but we think there are tangible, economic and strategic advantages to all sides.”

The official suggested that other nations who choose to join the agreements could receive benefits from the United States.

“The Biden administration strongly supports countries that normalize relations with Israel… We believe these accords have shown there are real advantages to dismantling old obstacles and enhancing cooperation, particularly in ways that promote economic development and ties between people.”