HomePoliticsTensions at the heart of the postponement?

Tensions at the heart of the postponement?

Originally scheduled for March in Morocco, the Negev Forum is likely to be postponed to June, Israeli media sources said. At the heart of this postponement several reasons for disputes inbe the signatory countries of the Abraham Accords.

Postponed due to the escalation of tensions between Palestinians and Israelis and the degraded security situation, the Summit should know the participation of all the countries present for the first edition (Israel, United States, Morocco, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates ).

Other sources of tension would have influenced the postponement of this Summit, among others, the name associated with it “Negev”. According to Israeli sources, this name would be a problem for several Arab countries who do not want the event to be associated with Israel. The United States would have accepted and are now campaigning for a name change.

According to the Israeli news site Haaretz, citing Israeli officials, the date of the summit should be set for June 25 and the venue for its organization will remain Morocco. However, according to the same sources, a disagreement between the Kingdom and the United States would have broken out about the venue of the Summit, which Morocco wanted to organize in the Moroccan Sahara.

Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said during the first edition of the Negev Summit that he wanted to organize the second edition in another desert, namely the Moroccan Sahara.

This Summit was to be organized precisely in Dakhla and the choice of the city should not be a problem for the participants, who all recognize, with the exception of Israel, Moroccan sovereignty over the territory. And even if Israel has not made clear diplomatic recognition on this subject, it is enough to see the projects in preparation in the Moroccan Sahara to suspect the Israeli position on this subject.

The American recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara, for its part, should also facilitate the logistics of the event. Only the Biden administration would have opposed the chosen location, insisting that it be organized in a place that does not make waves at the diplomatic level, according to the version presented by Haaretz, not confirmed by either the American or Moroccan side.

Moroccan Foreign Ministers Nasser Bourita and American Anthony Blinken spoke on the phone last week and broached the subject of the Negev Summit, with the US side emphasizing its “significance”.

The United States, which sponsors Israel, does not want its efforts for a better relationship between the Jewish state and the Arab countries to be in vain. The first Negev Summit had made it possible to bring the signatory countries of the Abraham Accords closer together, but the events linked to the Palestinian question and the change of government in Israel have greatly affected these new fragile and nascent ties.

As far as Morocco is concerned, a bilateral problem is added, and it is intimately linked to its territorial integrity. If the Biden administration claims not to have changed its position on the Sahara issue, in the case of Israel, recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara is slow in coming, leading the Kingdom to have reservations about the conduct of the Summit and the full activation of the agreement to restore relations between the two countries.



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