Minister Eli Cohen’s initiative: Negev Forum will convene in Morocco in the coming months

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Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Foreign Ministry Director General Ronen Levi met on Sunday with Dan Shapiro, the State Department’s senior advisor for regional integration, with an emphasis on the subject of the Abraham Accords.

The three discussed the possibilities for deepening relations with the existing partners in the circle of peace, as well as expanding the circle of normalization with additional significant partners in the Middle East and beyond.

The topic of promoting a gathering of the Negev Forum in the coming months in Morocco came up as well.

Minister Cohen summarized the meeting and said, “The signing of the Abraham Accords, led by the US, was the most significant move for the benefit of the region in the last twenty years. The United States and the Biden administration today are the main factor in favor of the continued expansion and deepening of relations with the existing partners and with new partners such as Saudi Arabia.”

“In my conversation with the special envoy Shapiro, we agreed to act in coordination and close cooperation in order to preserve the good relations with the existing partners to the agreements and to increase the circle of peace and normalization with new partnerships in the Middle East and beyond.”

The Negev Forum includes Israel, the United States, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. It was initiated by then-Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and the inaugural ministerial meeting was held in March of 2022 in Kibbutz Sde Boker.

A second meeting was to take place in Morocco this summer, but Morocco cancelled that meeting, citing “uncomfortable diplomatic relations”.