Morocco, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Israel and Egypt announced, today, Monday, the creation of the “Negev Forum” during a press conference dedicated to the question in the capital of Bahrain Manama, following a preparatory meeting for the event.
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that the Forum which follows the “Negev Summit”, held last March at the initiative of Israel where the participating countries had laid the foundations for regional cooperation. This Forum, which takes the form of a steering committee and a regional organization, includes a rotating presidency and an annual summit. Monday’s meeting in Manama saw the participation of senior foreign ministry officials from each of its six member states.
It was decided to hold a meeting of the foreign ministers of the six countries every year. Each of them should lead one of the working groups, which will meet two or three times a year. “These groups will become permanent frameworks of cooperation between us and the countries of the region.said Oded Joseph Deputy Director General, Head of the Middle East and Peace Process Division and former Ambassador of Israel to Kenya as well as other countries in Africa and the world.
Fouad Yazourh, as Director General of Political Affairs of the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented our country at this Forum. Washington was represented by Yaël Lampert. For his part, the director general of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (representative of Israel), Alon Ushpiz, tweeted on the occasion of this Forum, that “thanks to the #NegevSummit, a real and positive change in the fields of energy, health, food and water security, tolerance education, regional security tourism and much more, was created”.
It emerged from this first Forum after the Negev summit that the steering committee would then meet in October in Israel, just before the elections scheduled for that date and a decision was also taken for a ministerial summit, where the heads of diplomacy will be presented. of member countries. During this next Forum, Jordan should be invited to this meeting, according to the Israeli media.
This being the objective of this Manama Forum was not only to detail the working mechanisms, but also the preparation of the visit of US President Joe Biden to the Middle East. “We are also working on different initiatives to promote peace“, added the American diplomat Yaël Lampert. Among them, “initiatives that should benefit the Palestinian people and improve their quality of life“. The first meeting of the Negev Summit Steering Committee is “particularly important in light of US President Joe Biden’s expected visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia, and America’s commitments to widen the circle of peace“Said the statement from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the meeting of this first Forum.
Indeed, Joe Biden must go from July 13 to 16 in Israel, the occupied West Bank and Saudi Arabia where he will arrive on a first direct flight linking the Jewish state to the Saudi Kingdom. The US president will attend a summit of the six Gulf Arab monarchies that are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, according to Israeli sources and even more, the head of Moroccan diplomacy Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans living abroad, should also begin a tour in the region, in particular to inaugurate the Embassy of Morocco in Tel-Aviv and initiate certain cooperation agreements with Israel.