A controversial conference between Israel and a select group of Arab governments has been postponed for a fourth time over concerns over its name, Israel’s coalition government and how close it is to an Islamic holiday.
Morocco on June 15th announced the postponement of the Negev Forum which was originally planned for March but Arab members of the forum expressed concerns about publicly engaging with the far-right Israeli government.
The long-awaited summit – which involves the foreign ministers of Egypt, Israel, Bahrain, the UAE, Morocco and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken – was previously postponed three times before it was scheduled for 25 June.
The Moroccan government informed the US that the most recent deferral was due to the proximity of the meeting to the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, which begins on 28 June.
However, despite US and Israeli optimism that the summit would take place next week, some of the Arab participants have expressed concerns about publicly dealing with the far-right coalition government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to reports.
The Negev Forum was established in March 2022 with the unprecedented meeting of the five participant Arab states that have ties with Israel along with the US and Israel at the Israeli Kibbutz of Sde Boker in the Negev.