Negev Summit countries to reconvene in Bahrain next month

The delegates will discuss regional cooperation and security, health, education, tourism, food and water security, and energy.

 A WORKER carries flagpoles in preparation for the Negev Summit in Sde Boker on March 27. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
A WORKER carries flagpoles in preparation for the Negev Summit in Sde Boker on March 27.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Senior officials from countries represented at this year’s Negev Summit plan to hold their first working meeting in Bahrain next month, sources confirmed from multiple countries involved.

The foreign ministers of Israel, the US, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt gathered in March at Sde Boker, in Israel’s South, for the Negev Summit, where they announced they would be working on myriad areas of shared interests.

The Foreign Ministry described the summit as creating “a regional security architecture that will build deterrence against threats from the air and sea,” with several of the foreign ministers specifically mentioning threats from Iran at the event.

Top officials from the countries that participated in the Negev Summit, plus Jordan, are expected to attend the first follow-up meeting of a steering committee in Bahrain in mid-June, to be chaired by Bahraini Undersecretary for Political Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz is expected to represent Israel

A diplomat from one of the participating countries said they are “trying to put meat on the bone” of the Negev Forum.

 The Negev Summit. (credit: JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/REUTERS) The Negev Summit. (credit: JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/REUTERS)

The delegates are expected to discuss regional cooperation and form working groups on security, health, education, tourism, food and water security, and energy. They will choose the leading countries for each group.

The steering committee meeting is still being planned, and its details are still subject to change.

Ushpiz is also set to visit Bahrain on Thursday for a dialogue between Jerusalem and Manama.

The agenda includes discussing security threats from Iran, promoting “warm peace,” and the next phase of the Negev Forum, as well as other regional affairs.