The Kingdom of Bahrain hosted, on Monday, the first meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Negev Forum, with the participation of senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, the United States of America and Israel.
The meeting, in which Morocco was represented by Fouad Yazourh, Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, was devoted to the follow-up of the conclusions of the Negev Summit, which brought together the foreign ministers of the six countries on March 28.
According to the Undersecretary of the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the meeting focused on defining the tasks of the working groups to strengthen cooperation and exchange of experiences between the participating countries in the various fields, economy, health, education, security and environment.
The objective is to strengthen the stability of the Middle East region and to achieve the security aspirations of its peoples for peace, prosperity and coexistence in an atmosphere of tolerance and harmony among all religions, cultures and civilizations.
The senior officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the participating countries affirmed, in a joint final statement, their pride in the results of the historic Negev Summit in forming a framework for regional cooperation, and their common interest in increasing coordination and collective action through the review of the framework of the work of the Negev Forum, and the definition of its objectives, working methods and structure.
During the meeting, six working groups were approved in the areas of clean energy, education and peaceful coexistence, food and water security, health, regional security and tourism.
The six working groups will meet regularly throughout the year and submit their reports to the Coordinating Committee with the goal of supporting initiatives that strengthen regional integration, cooperation and development for the benefit of the peoples of the region.
The participants stressed the importance of building on the relations between Israel and the Arab countries to achieve tangible progress in Israeli-Palestinian relations and to resolve the current conflict through negotiations, as an integral part of the efforts to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region.
The Coordination Committee of the Negev Forum welcomed the annual holding of the ministerial meeting at the level of foreign ministers of the six countries, as this is the main presidential body of the forum, and Israel’s hosting of another meeting of the Coordination Committee in light of its continued chairmanship of the current session, until the date of the holding of the next ministerial meeting, at the latest this year, stressing that deepening regional cooperation and mutual understanding between countries are essential for the success of the Middle East region in achieving peace and prosperity on a larger scale.