Tel Aviv, Jan 3 (UiTV/IANS) – Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced his plan to attend a conference in March with his counterparts from Arab countries that have normalised relations with the Jewish state.
Cohen, who took office last week in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition government, said the conference will be hosted by Morocco, Xinhua news agency reported citing a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry here.
The Ministry’s director-general is scheduled to attend a working meeting next week with Arab counterparts in Abu Dhabi to prepare the meeting, he added.
Cohen was referring to the Negev Forum, a foreign ministerial-level framework established by Israel, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, the UAE and the US in 2022 to develop Israeli-Arab relations, especially after the normalization Abraham Accords Israel reached with Bahrain, Morocco and the UAE in 2020.
“Expanding the Accords to other countries is not a matter of ‘if’ but of ‘when’,” Cohen said.
The Minister added that Israel’s ties with the Arab countries resulted in $2.85 billion in trade in 2022 and “a significant contribution to security … and regional stability”.
Netanyahu, who was sworn in for a sixth term last week, has expressed hope of forming official ties with Saudi Arabia.
In the past, Riyadh has conditioned any diplomatic progress with Israel on progress toward a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.