Israeli Foreign Ministry Chief in Bahrain for Meetings in First Since Negev Summit

Hosted by Bahrain and chaired by Israel, this is the first meeting since Lapid hosted the Foreign Ministers of states which signed the Abraham Accords

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Negev Summit
Negev SummitCredit: Israel's Foreign Ministry

Senior foreign ministry representatives of several Middle Eastern states, including Israel, concluded their first conference on Monday hosted in Bahrain's capital of Manama.

Members from the foreign ministries of Israel, Bahrain, U.S., United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Morocco discussed "the operative ways in which cooperation can be promoted in a manner that will lead to tangible achievements for the region and its people," Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Israel currently chairs the committee, which Lapid created in March after hosting foreign ministers from states with which Israel recently made peace during the Abraham Accords, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. "What we are doing here is making history, building a new regional architecture based on progress, technology, religious tolerance, security and intelligence cooperation," Lapid said in March.

"The convening of the steering conference is further evidence of the importance that the member states of the forum see in anchoring the framework and regional cooperation created in it in a variety of civic areas that affect the entire region and its people, without geographical or political boundaries," the Foreign Ministry added.

Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah and Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz, said that the "existence of the conference once again demonstrates the importance that the countries see in promoting relations between them" and see this forum as the platform for promoting those solutions.

Ahead of U.S. President Biden's upcoming Middle East visit, Lapid said on earlier in June that Israel seeks peace with Saudi Arabia "as with any country in the region." Lapid cited Iranian attacks on Saudi Arabia and stressed the common interest in preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state.

"I won't say whether we have under-the-radar talks with the Saudis," he said. "We have a joint interest in the subject of Iran, that it won't become a nuclear threshold state."

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