Arab Diplomats Hail Historic Summit in Israel as Best Response to Terror

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Top Arab diplomats hailed a historic summit in Israel’s Negev desert as the answer to terror, following a shooting attack the night before that killed two Border Police officers.

The foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Egypt, who are currently gathered at the first-of-its-kind summit together with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Sde Boker, expressed thei condolences to the families of the victims of Sunday’s attack.

“This meeting is the first of its kind, but not the last,” Lapid said, adding that the Negev Summit would become a permanent forum.

Th regional security architecture under discussion between Israel and Arab states “intimidates and deters our common enemies — first and foremost, Iran and its proxies,” he added.

“They certainly have something to fear,” he said.

Addressing the terror attack the previous night, Lapid said: “It was murder for the sake of murder, terror for the sake of terror.”

Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita condemned the terror attack and hailed the summit as the “best response to such attacks,” according to the Times of Israel.

Echoing Bourita, United Arab Emirates’ top diplomat Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan also said that the summit was the best way to combat terror like that seen the night before.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (C-R) walks alongside his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani during the Negev summit in the Israeli kibbutz of Sde Boker. (JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/AFP via Getty)

He also expressed his thanks to the U.S. for supporting the summit.

“Even though Israel has been in this region for a very long time, this is our first time here. We haven’t known one another,” al Nahyan said.

Bourita said normalizing ties with Israel was “not a move of opportunity. It is a move of conviction.”

“We believe in a thorough, paradigm-shaping peace,” the Moroccan diplomat said.

He added that his country’s decision to recognize Israel was “not an opportunistic move.”

“I hope we meet again soon in a different desert, but with the same spirit,” he said, apparently referring to the Sahara Desert.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry described the summit as “constructive and in-depth.”

With the exception of al Nahyan, all the Arab diplomats called for a viable Palestinian state.

(L to R) Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid delivers opening remarks during a roundtable with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, in the Israeli kibbutz of Sde Boker. (JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/AFP via Getty)

For his part, Lapid encouraged Palestinians to give up terror and forge a path of progress.

Far-left activists stood opposite the venue and protested the lack of Palestinian presence at the summit.

Blinken vowed that the U.S. would continue to strengthen the Abraham Accords which began under the Trump administration when Israel normalized ties with four Arab Muslim nations.

“This is a new dawn,” Blinken said.


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