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Working groups for Negev Forum convene in Abu Dhabi

January 9, 2023 at 1:31 pm

Diplomats pose for a group picture ahead of the Negev Forum’s first Steering Committee meeting in the town of in Zallaq, south of the Bahraini capital of Manama on June 27, 2022. [MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosted, on Monday, a meeting of the working groups for the upcoming Negev Forum, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The meeting, held in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, is attended by delegations from the UAE, Israel, the US, Bahrain, Egypt and Morocco.

The Negev Forum is expected to take place next month in Morocco, with the participation of Israeli Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen.

In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said the Abu Dhabi meeting is the third for the Negev Forum’s working groups. The first meeting was held in Bahrain in June 2022, while the second was held online in October 2022.

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There was no comment from the UAE authorities on the Israeli statement.

The Negev Forum was established in March 2022 in Negev in southern Israel, as part of normalisation deals between Israel and four Arab countries — the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

The first Negev summit in March was held at the level of foreign ministers, where working groups were established to enhance cooperation in the fields of regional security, health, education, tolerance, water security and tourism.

The UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan signed US-sponsored agreements to normalise their relations with Israel in 2020. Since then, they have strengthened their ties with the signing of several agreements, including economic and trade deals, along with agreements on regulating the entry of citizens and flights.

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