Senior officials from Israel, the United States and Arab allies gathered in Manama, Bahrain on Monday for a follow-up meeting on the historic Negev Summit that was held in March in the Israeli desert.
Their discussions focused on operative steps to increase security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East.
The first meeting of the Negev Summit Steering Committee comes as world powers are set to return to the negotiating table with Iran, in an attempt to break the impasse in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
“The meeting is of particular importance in light of U.S. President Biden's expected visit to Israel and the Middle East and the American commitment to expanding the circle of peace,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.
Biden is slated to visit the region from July 13 to 16 and make stops in Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.
Israel’s Chanel 14 News reported that the two-state solution was raised during the meeting. According to the report, the United States wished to see Jordan and the Palestinian Authority joining the committee’s next meeting, expected to take place in October.
The committee includes representatives from six nations, among them the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt. The member states discussed ways to promote cooperation in a manner that will lead to tangible achievements for the region and its people, according to a statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry
Each of the Negev Summit countries has agreed to head a working group designated to a certain field, such as regional security, food and water security, energy, health, education and tolerance and tourism. The groups will convene two or three times a year.
“These will become permanent frameworks for cooperation between us and countries in the region,” said Foreign Ministry official Oded Joseph, who represented Israel in the meeting along with Dir.-Gen. Alon Ushpiz.
Working together to translate the full potential of the #AbrahamAccords into reality in our region.— Alon Ushpiz (@AlonUshpiz) June 27, 2022
Through the #NegevSummit, we are creating a real and positive change in energy, health, food & water security, regional security and so much more 🇮🇱🇺🇸🇧🇭🇲🇦🇦🇪🇪🇬. pic.twitter.com/WGnOHzm0Nj
The Negev Summit was the first-ever gathering of foreign ministers from Israel, the U.S. and four Muslim nations. Held in Sde Boker, the home of Israel’s founding father and first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, the summit was made possible thanks to the Abraham Accords.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.