US, Israel, and Arab states boost ties in Negev summit

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“What we are attempting today is to build a new future for ourselves, our children and future generations,” Sheikh Abdullah said, reports Asian Lite News

The top diplomats of Bahrain, Israel, Egypt, Morocco, UAE and the US have committed to strengthen their economic and diplomatic cooperation in an unprecedented meeting in Israel’s southern Negev desert on Monday.

Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, said the countries would strive to make the summit a yearly event, the Washington Post reported.

Other participants in the summit were Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State; Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt; Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates of Morocco; and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

During the summit, the participants discussed joint challenges, a number of regional and international issues of common concern, in addition to efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region and enhance international peace and security.

Sheikh Abdullah thanked Yair Lapid for this invitation, stressing that the UAE supports and backs all international efforts to achieve peace, security, stability and development in the region and the wider world. He also highlighted that the UAE believes that peace is the cornerstone for comprehensive and sustainable development in societies.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed the significance of joint action to establish the values ​​of peace, coexistence and tolerance across the world, saying that these values are the main pillars to achieving the aspiration of nations and building a prosperous future for the next generations.

Sheikh Abdullah stated that Israel is “not only a partner but also a friend, and we are grateful for your invitation”.

The summit is a historic event, he added, noting that since the signing of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel 43 years ago, both sides have not had the opportunity to get to know each other and work to change the narrative portraying Israelis and Arabs as enemies.

“What we are attempting today is to build a new future for ourselves, our children and future generations,” Sheikh Abdullah further explained.

“It is a new experience for myself, and for Nasser Bourita and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, to be in Israel,” he continued. “Israel has been part of the region for a long time and it is about time to become better acquainted.”

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I believe that the UAE seeing over 300,000 Israeli visitors in the past year and a half, and the Israel Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai welcoming nearly two million visitors, evidence our curiosity and keenness to know each other better, he further said.

Sheikh Abdullah called on everyone involved to fight against hate speech and violence in the region, saying “we will undoubtedly be victorious, and we can do better in many areas”.

He pointed out that there is great potential for building cooperation, which Egypt has proven, and added that Blinken’s presence at the summit is significant, evidencing how the US is a major supporter of efforts create a better, more peaceful and prosperous future.

Mohamed Mahmoud Al Khaja, UAE Ambassador to Israel, also attended the summit.