The top diplomats of Arab countries that normalized their relations with Israel are meeting in the Najaf Desert. Concerns about the nuclear deal with Iran are on the priority agenda of the parties.
Taking important steps towards normalizing its relations with the Arab countries , Israel is hosting the foreign ministers of the four Arab states simultaneously for the first time in its history. The two-day ‘Negev Summit’, which started yesterday, brought together ministers from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Morocco. In a statement regarding the summit, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, “Israel is an important player on the world stage. We are developing our old ties and building new bridges,” and drew attention to his country’s recent diplomatic initiatives.
While US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also attended the summit, the priority issue on the table is the nuclear agreement with Iran. Meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, before the summit in the Negev Desert, Blinken sought to allay fears of his allies about the agreement. Stating that Lapid and Iran are of the same opinion on obtaining nuclear weapons, Blinken said, “We are both determined. “We both agree that Iran should never acquire nuclear weapons,” he said. Lapid, on the other hand, stated that “Israel will do everything necessary to stop Iran’s nuclear program”, signaling that there is no softening in his objection to the renewal of the 2015 agreement.