By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
They met in Manama, Bahrain, on Monday following a “historic Negev Summit” that was held in March in the Israeli desert, organizers said.
Delegates concluded that increasing security, stability, and prosperity in the Middle East is the best way forward towards peace, according to sources familiar with the talks.
Monday’s meeting was the first gathering of the ‘Negev Summit Steering Committee,’ comprised of the United States, Israel as well as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Egypt.
The governments of these six states agreed to set up a regional cooperation group, the Negev Forum, currently chaired by Israel and governed by annual foreign ministers meetings.
Working groups will prepare to cooperate in areas such as “Clean Energy, Education and Coexistence, Food and Water Security, Health, Regional Security, Tourism,” they said.
Israeli media said they also spoke about the two-state solution,” which would involve a recognized Palestinian state and Israel.
Delegates agreed to improve the prosperity of Palestinians, according to their statement seen by Worthy News.
“The participants also affirmed that these relations can be harnessed to create momentum in Israeli-Palestinian relations towards a negotiated resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And as part of efforts to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
The gathering came as world powers plan to negotiate with Iran on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, Israel said. Israel fears the Islamic state may soon have nuclear weapons.
Yet, Monday’s meeting demonstrated “the strength of our relations, our shared commitment to cooperation. And the important opportunities unlocked by improved relations between Israel and its neighbors,” the six nations said.
“The meeting is of particular importance in light of U.S. President Biden’s expected visit to Israel and the Middle East and the American commitment to expanding the circle of peace,” added the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Biden is to visit the region from July 13 to 16 and make stops in Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia.
The gathering Monday followed the March Negev Summit, the first-ever meeting of foreign ministers from Israel, the U.S., and four Muslim nations.
Held in Sde Boker, the home of Israel’s founding father and first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, the summit resulted from the Abraham Accords backed by then U.S. President Donald J. Trump. The Accords inked the first public normalization of ties between an Arab country and Israel since those with Jordan in 1994.