Israel to Host Blinken, FMs of UAE, Bahrain, Morocco Next Week

The historic summit will bring together Arab countries that have normalized ties with Israel ■ Israel sends first military delegation to Morocco, signs memorandum of understanding

Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov
Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Latvia, last month.
Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Latvia, last month.Credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY - AFP
Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov

Israel will host the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken as well as the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco on Sunday and Monday, in a historic summit bringing together Arab countries which have normalized ties with Israel.

The four senior diplomats are arriving at the invitation of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Morocco, the UAE and Bahrain signed normalization agreements with Israel as part of a U.S.-led push in 2020, with relations between the nations warming since.

On Thursday, Israel sent its first senior military delegation to Morocco to meet with their counterparts in Rabat. The two countries signed a first memorandum of understanding on military cooperation.

Just last week, Bennett, the Emirati crown prince and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi also met in Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt.

On his regional tour, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also expected to visit the West Bank, Morocco, and Algeria this week, according to a State Department announcement on Thursday.

In Israel, he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and President Isaac Herzog.

In the West Bank, he is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and "representatives of Palestinian civil society."

In Morocco, Blinken is expected to meet with Moroccan government officials as well as the United Arab Emirates' Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Blinken's meeting with the UAE crown prince comes amid several weeks of heightened tensions between the two countries relating to differences concerning Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Iran and conditions on arms sales.

Israel and the UAE recently asked for security guarantees from the U.S. if a new Iran nuclear deal was reached.

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