TEL AVIV – This week, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers visited Israel to deliver a keynote address at the CyberTech Global Conference and to meet with representatives from Israel and key Middle Eastern nations, in collaboration with the Department of State. Under Secretary Silvers met with President of the State of Israel Isaac Herzog, Israel National Cyber Directorate Director General Gaby Portnoy, Head of the UAE Cyber Security Council H.E. Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, CEO of the Bahrain National Cyber Security Center Shaikh Salman bin Mohamed bin Abdulla al-Khalifa, and Director General of Morocco’s Directorate General of Information Systems Security Brig. General El Mostafa Rabii to discuss the expansion of the Abraham Accords to include shared cybersecurity priorities and enhancing regional cooperation.
“The expansion of the Abraham Accords into cybersecurity is advancing our defensive operational collaboration with Israel and our partners across the Middle East to protect our critical infrastructure,” said DHS Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers. “Together we can harness our capabilities to address the most pressing cybersecurity challenges to drive security and resilience.”
At the CyberTech Global Conference, Under Secretary Silvers delivered a keynote address emphasizing the importance of cohesive private sector engagement, international cooperation, and the U.S.-Israel relationship to address shared cybersecurity threats. He also participated in the first ever public dialogue among U.S., Israeli, Emirati, Bahraini, and Moroccan cybersecurity officials to build on the Abraham Accords and normalization agreements.
The Department’s cybersecurity engagement in the Middle East builds on a long history of defense and security cooperation between the U.S. and partners in the region. Its work to expand the Abraham Accords and normalization agreements is focused on network defense and cybersecurity collaboration to address shared threats, including nation state targeting of critical infrastructure and widespread ransomware attacks. DHS and its Middle East partners commit to sharing information about cyber threats, incidents, and approaches to these challenges to increase global cybersecurity and resilience.
Partnering with the Department of State, Under Secretary Silvers engaged with Israeli leaders and emphasized the need for Israel to meet all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) requirements to become eligible for the program and thereby enhance U.S.-Israel security and travel partnership. Under Secretary Silvers met with Speaker Amir Ohana regarding VWP-related legislation and National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi to discuss the significant amount of work that must be accomplished in a short amount of time for Israel to be eligible to achieve entry into the program.