Negev Summit between Israeli and Arab parties to the Abraham Accords to become a regular event


(JTA) — The historic summit meeting between Israeli leaders and their counterparts from Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates is set to become a regular event, rotating between the participating countries, Israeli officials announced Monday.

The continuation of the meetings on matters of regional security was announced Monday morning at a joint press conference attended by leaders of the participating countries and Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State.

“This meeting is the first of its kind but not the last,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said during the closing press conference. “Last night we decided to make the Negev Summit into a permanent forum.”

The meeting took place in Sde Boker, a city in Israel’s southern Negev region that was also the home and burial place of Israel’s founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion. The summit between leaders of Israel and four Arab countries was the first such meeting in the wake of the Abraham Accords, the peace agreements signed in 2020 that normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

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News from the summit was interrupted Sunday night by a suspected terrorist attack in the Israeli city of Hadera, which resulted in the deaths of two police officers. In his remarks, Lapid said those participating in the meeting would not be intimidated by terror. Representatives of the countries participating in the Negev summit condemned the attack in their remarks Monday morning.

Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani began his speech condemning the terror attack. “I would like to start by condemning the terrorist attack which took place last night, claiming the lives of two border policemen. And I would like to convey our condolences to the bereaved families and reaffirm our firm stance against terrorism and all its forms,” he said.

In his remarks, Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita called the summit the “best response” to the attack in Hadera.

Several of the diplomats, including Blinken, also spoke about the Palestinian people and called for continued work towards a two-state solution.

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