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Egyptian FM to join upcoming ‘historic’ Abraham Accords summit in Israel

Efforts also said underway to draw Jordanian top diplomat for gathering with foreign ministers from the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, US

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid chats with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo, on December 9, 2021. (Shlomi Amsalem/GPO)
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid chats with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo, on December 9, 2021. (Shlomi Amsalem/GPO)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is expected to attend the “historic” diplomatic summit in Israel on Sunday, joining foreign ministers from the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco — signatories to the US-brokered Abraham Accords in 2020 — for the two-day event.

Shoukry will arrive in Israel on Sunday, joining US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, the UAE’s Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Bahrain’s Abdullatif bin Rashid Al- Zayani and Morocco’s Nasser Bourita for the gathering, Hebrew-language media first reported Saturday morning, citing sources with knowledge of the preparations surrounding the summit. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will host the event on Sunday and Monday.

Israeli ambassador to Bahrain, Eitan Na’eh, tweeted Saturday that March 26 marked the 43rd anniversary of Israel’s historic peace agreement with Egypt, signed in 1979. “43 years later, foreign ministers from at least 4 Arab countries + [the US] will gather in [Israel] tomorrow, to talk regional coop[eration],” he wrote, including the flags of Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the United States in the tweet.

Efforts were underway to draw Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi to the summit as well, according to the reports.

Israel has made strengthening the Abraham Accords a top priority, scheduling regular diplomatic meetings to member countries. Initial desires to finalize the normalization deal between Israel and Sudan have been complicated due to the military coup that spiraled the latter country further into crisis late last year.

Sunday’s meeting of foreign ministers will take place less than a week after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to the Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh for the first-ever trilateral summit with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan — another development likely made possible by the Abraham Accords.

The State Department said Thursday that Blinken will use his trip to coordinate with US allies on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “Iran’s destabilizing activities,” the Abraham Accords, and efforts to improve Israeli-Palestinian ties.

Blinken will meet with Bennett, Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and President Isaac Herzog in Israel, and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas along with representatives from Palestinian civil society in Ramallah.

A Channel 12 report on Friday linked the upcoming Israeli summit to an effort to present a united regional front against Iran and its nuclear ambitions. The TV network’s Ben Caspit, a columnist and political analyst, said Israel has much to offer on the military technology front and summit participants could also address a possible initiative to set up regional anti-missile warning systems.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accompanied by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, left, and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyanin, right, speaks at a joint news conference at the State Department in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2021. (Andrew Harnik/AP))

On Friday, Jordan’s King Abdullah II hosted leaders from Egypt, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates for talks on regional and international developments.

The meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi in the Red Sea port city of Aqaba was “consultative,” according to state television.

A statement from the royal court said others in attendance included Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein and Saudi Minister of State Prince Turki bin Mohammad bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz.

Abbas is slated to host Jordan’s King Abdullah II next week.

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