Morocco postpones Negev Summit between Arab countries and Israel

Saturday 24 Jun 2023

Morocco said Friday it has postponed a meeting between Arab countries and Israel that it was due to host this summer in response to mounting bloodshed in the occupied West Bank.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita
File photo: Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita is pictured during a press briefing with his Israeli counterpart, in Rabat on August 11, 2021. AFP


Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said he hoped the meeting could still go ahead at a later date when circumstances are more "favourable".

The annual meeting, which is in only its second year, was already postponed this spring after a previous flare-up of Israeli violence against Palestinians.

Last year's meeting brought together the Israeli foreign minister and the top diplomats of Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Morocco.

"There were efforts to arrange it during the summer. Unfortunately, there is a political context which could prevent this meeting from producing the results we had been hoping for," Bourita said.

A spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry told AFP they had "no response" to Rabat's decision.

Morocco normalized its relations with Israel in December 2020 as part of a deal that also saw the United States recognize its authority over the disputed Western Sahara.

The deal has faced domestic criticism as the Palestinian cause still commands widespread public support in the North African country.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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