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First Arab-Africa-Israel security conference to be held in Jerusalem

February 20, 2023

By Etgar Lefkovits

“The summit is particularly important when Iran and its Hezbollah terror proxy are subverting states across the region,” said Dan Diker, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

(February 20, 2023 / JNS) Representatives of 14 African and Arab countries will convene in Jerusalem next month for the first ever Arab-Africa-Israel conference on Middle East security.

The event comes during a diplomatic tug of war in Africa between supporters and opponents of Israel, which saw a public row when a senior Israeli diplomat was ejected from the African Union’s annual summit in Ethiopia last weekend.

Next month’s three-day conference, titled “Trusted Regional Partnerships at a Time of Shifting Alliances,” which is being organized by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, will include participants from countries without diplomatic relations with Israel.

The conference will focus on security, stability and cooperation, with roundtable discussions on the landmark 2020 Abraham Accords, anti-radicalism and counterinsurgency, as well as food and water security. It will also include two days of visits to cutting-edge Israeli tech companies.

It will include participants from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Somaliland, South Sudan and South Africa.

“The first ever Arab-Africa Israel policy summit in Jerusalem is particularly important at a moment in the Middle East and Africa when Iran and its Hezbollah terror proxy are subverting states across the region and Africa as well,” said Dan Diker, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in a statement Monday.

“Israel is being sought after by its Arab and African neighbors near and far to collaborate on key issues such as food and water security at a time of regional instability,” he added.

The participants expected at the conference will include policymakers from leading think tanks across Africa and the Gulf as well as their diplomatic representatives in Israel.

Invitations have also been sent to representatives from Sierra Leone, Chad, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Rwanda.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made enhancing Israel’s relations with Africa a major foreign policy goal.

Earlier this month, he joined Chad’s President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno at the opening of the African country’s embassy in Israel. On the same day, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met with the leader of Sudan’s transitional government in Khartoum.  

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