A two-day conference began between Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his visiting counterparts of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt in southern Israel’s Negev desert…reports Asian Lite News
The two-day conference began on Sunday evening, Xinhua news agency reported.
It marks the first time that Israel hosts a meeting with Arab Foreign Ministers.
US State Secretary Antony Blinken will participate in the conference on Monday, according to a statement from Lapid’s office.
An emerging nuclear deal between Iran and world powers is expected to be on top of the agenda for the conference, according to Israeli state-owned Kan TV.
Seeing Iran as its arch-enemy, Israel has been a vocal opponent of a nuclear deal with Iran.
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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday that “Israel’s foreign relations are experiencing a good period.”
Last week, Bennett attended his first-ever trilateral summit with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi in the UAE, in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
Hamas slams conference
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has slammed the participation of several Arab countries’ foreign ministers in a conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held in southern Israel.
Hazem Qassem, Hamas Spokesman in Gaza, told reporters on Sunday that “Hamas rejects all forms of normalisation with the Israel,” adding such meeting “serves nothing but perpetuates the continuous aggression against the Palestinians and their land.”
Qassem called on Arab countries that signed normalisation agreements with Israel to reconsider them in line with the interests of their people, and to keep with their historical responsibilities in protecting Jerusalem and Palestine.