The Negev summit opened in southern Israel on Sunday with the attendance of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Israel, the US, Egypt, and three Arab countries that signed a normalisation agreement with Tel Aviv two years ago.
The summit, hosted by the Negev city of Sidiya, was attended for the first time by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid, as well as Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry, UAE FM Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Bahrain’s FM Abdellatif Al-Zayani, and Moroccan FM Nasser Bourita.
The summit discussed regional threats, challenges, and opportunities, the Iranian nuclear talks in Vienna, and the Russian-Ukrainian war and its repercussions on the economic and energy fields.
Israeli media reported that the summit also discussed the Palestinian issue, as Blinken is scheduled to start a visit on Monday in Ramallah to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Negev meeting comes less than a week after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi hosted UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for trilateral talks on growing food insecurities and geopolitical issues, including nuclear negotiations.
The tripartite meeting discussed the repercussions of global developments, especially with regard to energy, market stability, and food security, as well as the exchange of views on the latest international and regional issues.
This was Bennett’s second visit to Egypt in six months. The first was last September.
The summit highlights Israel’s strengthening of normalised relations with its neighbours under the rubric of the Abraham Accords.
The UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco established formal diplomatic relations with Israel in 2020. Egypt has had a peace agreement with Israel since 1979.