US working to boost ties between Arab states, Israel

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The Negev Forum Steering Committee and Working Groups convened in Abu Dhabi on 9-10 January 2023, to prepare for the upcoming Ministerial meeting….reports Asian Lite News

The diplomats from Washington said they are working to increase integration and cooperation between several Arab states and Israel in various fields as part of the Negev Forum.

The Negev Forum Steering Committee and Working Groups convened in Abu Dhabi on 9-10 January 2023, to prepare for the upcoming Ministerial meeting.

The UAE, as host of the meeting, expressed its appreciation to the Steering Committee and Working Groups’ members for the constructive discussions that were held in the spirit and vision of the Negev Forum.

The Working Groups discussed opportunities to promote prosperity and cooperation for the benefit of the region and its inhabitants, in the areas under their mandate. Such opportunities included areas such as food security and water technology, clean energy, tourism, healthcare, education and coexistence, and regional security. 

“What the Negev Forum did was create six working groups that met over the past two days,” Derek Chollet, counselor at the US State Department, said during a telephonic briefing, the Arab News reported.

“These six working groups cover regional security, clean energy, food and water security, health, tourism, and education and coexistence,” he added.

“Very specifically, we sought to develop clear, concrete and pragmatic steps that will bolster integration and help us augment security, peace and economic prosperity in the region.

Elizabeth Allen, senior American official for public diplomacy and public affairs, said since the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020, educational cooperation between Arab states and Israel has increased, the Arab News reported.

“The goal of our collective efforts in this Negev Forum with our partners was to build a new regional framework that has the potential to change the future of the Middle East and North Africa. That’s our ongoing work,” she added.

The Negev Forum Regional Cooperation Framework Document states: “In light of the extraordinary opportunity and momentum created by the Negev Summit, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Morocco, the United States of America, and the State of Israel, (hereinafter: “the members”) expressed their intention at the Summit to form a regional framework (hereinafter: “the Negev Forum” or “the Forum”)

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