Israel Policy Forum applauds the unprecedented Negev Summit hosted by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Sde Boker, which included the foreign ministers of the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Egypt, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. We further welcome the announcement that this historic conference, the first of its kind to take place on Israeli soil, will become a permanent forum for regional cooperation and coordination on shared security threats, Iran foremost among them. The Negev Summit underscores the success of the Abraham Accords, which saw Israel embraced as a regional partner by several of its Middle Eastern neighbors, and the degree to which Israel is truly a part of the Middle East. It also demonstrates the benefits of coordination between the U.S. and its various regional partners in addressing pressing challenges through enhanced cooperation.

We also echo Secretary Blinken’s statement that Israel-Arab relations are important but are no substitute for Israeli-Palestinian peace. We hope that future iterations of the Negev Summit will include Palestinian representatives as well, demonstrating that Israel-Arab normalization can be leveraged in order to further Israeli-Palestinian ties and maintain a political horizon for the two-state solution.