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Morocco to host ‘Negev 2’ summit in desert city of Dakhla

October 24, 2022

Foreign ministers of United States, Israel, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Jordan to attend conference

Morocco will host the "Negev 2 Summit" in the desert city of Dakhla, sources told i24NEWS on Monday.

Foreign ministers of the United States, Israel, Egypt, the Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, and Morocco are scheduled to attend the conference taking place in January 2023.

Informed Moroccan sources told i24NEWS that "Morocco is preparing to receive working groups whose goal will be to advance projects in the areas of regional security, food, and water security, energy, health, education, and tourism, in preparation for the Negev 2 Summit," noting that "Morocco seeks to persuade the Palestinian Authority to participate in the summit."

Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita told the participating foreign ministers during the inaugural Negev Summit held last March in southern Israel: "We hope to meet in another desert, but in the same spirit," referring to his desire to "embrace the meeting in the Moroccan Sahara."

"We are here to create competitive value in order to achieve peace for every country in the region, and this is a message to the whole world and to the peoples of the region. We are here to create and strengthen relations between peoples and each other, and we come here from our country in order to achieve those ways of coexistence and existence," he added.

In this context, the Arab countries that participated in the "Negev Summit" in southern Israel (the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, and Morocco) called on the U.S. administration to respect Washington's commitment to open a consulate in Dakhla.

The city on a narrow peninsula of the Atlantic coast is in the disputed Western Sahara region which Morocco claims as its sovereign territory.

Morocco normalized relations with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords two years ago. The administration of former U.S. president Donald Trump recognized Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara as part of the deal.

The New York Times reported that the opening of an American consulate in Dakhla in the desert was on the agenda of the Negev Summit in Israel, where the foreign ministers of Morocco, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt called on U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to respect the Trump administration's commitment to open the consulate, and also called on the ministers to open an American consulate in east Jerusalem.

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