Israeli officials departed for the United Arab Emirates on Sunday for three days of meetings to prepare for the next installment of the Negev Forum, slated for the spring in Morocco.

The forum held its first major event last March in Sde Boker in Israel’s Negev Desert, which was attended by the foreign ministers of the UAE, Morocco, Bahrain, Egypt and the United States.

Since then, members of the forum’s steering committee have met in Bahrain in July and convened over Zoom in October. Now they will meet in Abu Dhabi.

Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz is leading the Israeli delegation composed of more than 20 officials.

The Negev Forum aims to build on the successes of the Abraham Accords, which normalized Israel’s relations with several Arab countries.

Areas of particular interest include security, energy, education, tourism and coexistence.

Also topping the agenda is Iran’s nuclear program and international efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

The original summit was hosted by then-Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and included the participation of the UAE’s Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Bahrain’s Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Morocco’s Nasser Bourita, Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.


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