Top officials of Israel, the US, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt – the six founding countries of the Negev Forum held its steering committee meeting on Monday in Manama, the capital city of Bahrain.
During the previous (and first) meeting which was held in the Negev’s kibbutz Sde Boker in March, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid hosted the foreign ministers of the other nations. The ministers then agreed to continue meeting regularly to promote regional issues.
The meeting is of particular importance in light of US President Biden's expected visit to Israel and the Middle East and the American commitment to expanding the circle of peace.
Within the framework of the steering committee, the member states discussed the operative ways in which to promote cooperation in a manner that will lead to tangible achievements for the region and its people, including, among other things, through the new forum created by FM Lapid in March of this year.
“The convening of the steering committee is further proof of the importance that the Forum's member states see in anchoring this framework and the regional cooperation that it has fostered in a variety of civilian, security, and prosperous areas that will contribute to the region and its people, without geographical or political boundaries,” said a statement by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.
In press statements issued by the delegation heads from Bahrain as the host country of the Steering Committee, and by Israel as the Forum Chair, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Bahrain, Sheikh Abdullah, and Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alon Ushpiz, noted that the convening of the Committee once again exemplifies the importance that the countries see in promoting ties and continuing to conduct the Negev Forum as a platform for promoting solutions to shared challenges.
The ministers also agreed on six working groups, as follows: clean energy, education and coexistence, food and water security, health, regional security, and tourism.