Israel Cabinet meeting (archive). Photo: GPO/Haim Zac
Under this decision, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will coordinate the necessary professional work in Israel for the Forum. The MFA Director-General will head the Israeli steering committee and will represent Israel at the multilateral steering committee.
The Government, on Sunday, 18 September 2022, approved Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s proposal for establishing a regional mechanism - the Negev Forum.
Under this decision, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will coordinate the necessary professional work in Israel for the Forum. The Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alon Ushpiz, will head the Israeli steering committee and will represent Israel at the multilateral steering committee.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid at the beginning of today’s cabinet meeting:
"The Cabinet decision formalizes and funds the working groups for the Negev Forum, which we established last year together with the US, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt.
“These working groups will create economic and security links which, just a few years ago, we could not have even dreamed of. We are working together with entrepreneurs in food-tech, water, energy, tourism and climate, increasing trade between our countries, and are holding a dialogue that strengthens Israel's security."
The Directors-General of the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Culture and Sport, Energy, Tourism, Health, and Defense will lead the professional work of the Israeli working group, with the participation of the Ministries of Regional Cooperation, Economy, and Finance.
The historic Negev Summit was held at Prime Minister Lapid’s initiative in Sde Boker in March 2022, with the foreign ministers of Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, the United States, and Israel. This, together with the meeting of the steering committee held in Manama in June 2022, led to the establishment of a regional architecture- “The Negev Forum.”
The government’s decision institutionalizes the work of the Forum, for advancing the initiative’s goals: Regional stability and security, leading diplomatic and economic cooperation, and people-to-people ties between the member countries for the welfare of the peoples of the region.
The Negev Forum will act on the basis of six working multilateral groups in the fields of food security and water, energy, tourism, health, education and tolerance, and regional security.