Egypt to Join Summit With Blinken, FMs of UAE, Bahrain and Morocco in Israel

The historic summit will bring together Arab countries that have normalized ties with Israel on Sunday and Monday

Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo, Egypt, last month.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo, Egypt, last month.Credit: MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/ REUTERS
Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov

Egypt will be joining a historic summit of Middle Eastern foreign ministers in Israel next week, alongside U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the senior diplomats of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

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Jordan, like Egypt, was invited to join the summit, but a Saturday statement from the Foreign Ministry doesn't mention any Jordanian representation.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the other foreign ministers are arriving for the meetings on Sunday and Monday at the invitation of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in Washington D.C. in 1979, and the countries have taken a series of steps to increase cooperation over the past year. Next month will see the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Sharm el-Sheikh, a statement from Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office said last week.

In December, Lapid met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi in Cairo to discuss Iran's efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

Israel's Foreign Ministry praised the "warm" meeting, where the two also discussed deepening normalization agreements with Arab countries and Iran's broader influence in the region.

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.

On his regional tour, U.S. Secretary of State 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."

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