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Negev Summit to Become Regular Forum

Jerusalem24 – Haaretz – Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a press conference Monday that the Mideast summit taking place in the Negev will be a “regular forum,” noting that the coalition of Middle Eastern countries will “deter” Iran and its proxies.

“This meeting is the first of its kind and not the last. We decided to make this meeting into a dedicated forum,” said Lapid, standing alongside the foreign ministers of Morocco, Egypt, Bahrain, the U.S., and the United Arab Emirates.
“What we are doing here is making history, building a new regional architecture based on progress, technology, religious tolerance, security, and intelligence cooperation,” Lapid said.
“This new architecture—the shared capabilities we are building— intimidates and deters our common enemies, first and foremost Iran and its proxies.”
Lapid began the press conference by saying Israel will not be intimidated by the terrorist attack Sunday in the city of Khadera, in which two people were killed.

“We will continue on our path, the path of peace,” he said. “I am not alone in this, everyone here shares this sentiment,” he added, saying that all foreign ministers participating in the summit condemned the attack.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that “just a few years ago this gathering would have been impossible to imagine,” adding that since the signing of the Abraham Accords, “once impossible things became possible.” Blinken said, however, that the Abraham Accords are not a substitute for the Palestinian issue, adding that this issue has been raised during the summit.

Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani began by condemning the terror attack and stressing his country’s commitment to peace and coexistence. “This is an important and timely meeting, he said of the summit.” He cited the Houthi attacks, Hezbollah, and the Iranian nuclear question as regional issues that make such gatherings important.

Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, who spoke next, said the summit also provided an opportunity to discuss issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the two-state solution, as well as Jerusalem.
Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said “our presence today is the best response” to terror attacks such as the one that took place Sunday. Morocco’s presence in the summit is a natural

decision based on long-standing relations, he said.

The UAE’s foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed thanked Lapid for the hospitality, calling the summit a historic moment. He lamented the 43 years – since Egypt and Israel signed a peace accord – that have passed and could have been used to “know each other and change the narrative.” It’s time, he said, to change both the narrative and the dynamic.

Nadeen Alshaer

Alshaer is a Palestinian journalist, a Birzeit University graduate with a B.A. in TV and Radio Broadcasting Journalism. Alshaer has 6 years of experience in journalism. She currently works as a reporter, editor and presenter/producer for PBC-Palestine TV and Jerusalem24 radio. She’s a UN and Kelley School of Business alumna.

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