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Goals of Israeli-Arab summit go beyond Iran

While the foreign ministers of Israel, the United States and four Arab Gulf nations emphasized cooperation on containing Iran, their meeting also seems aimed at boosting Israel's role in regional affairs.
Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (L) welcomes Bahrain's Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani.

Foreign ministers from Israel, the United States and four Arab Gulf nations met Monday in Israel's Negev region for an unprecedented summit. While most commentary on the meeting put the focus on Iran — and Washington's effort to assure partners it would maintain a tough line on Tehran as nuclear talks wrap up in Vienna — it appears the goal of the gathering went beyond that. The summit, bringing together senior diplomats from Israel's US and Arab partners, appears to be aimed at giving regional legitimacy to Israel almost two years after the signing of the Abraham Accords.

Mofid Deak, a former US diplomat now living in Jordan, told Al-Monitor that he believes the meeting is all about showing there is a new regional coalition being formed that includes Israel. “This is the first time that Arab countries of the Abraham Accords are meeting in Israel.”

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