Israel and Arab neighbors gather to build trade deal framework

Amid efforts to broker new agreements between Israel and the Arab world, negotiators met this week to develop a roadmap for a broad future trade deal. The Atlantic Council’s N-7 Initiative hosted a conference in Bahrain, following a similar gathering in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year, aimed at promoting cooperation between Israel and the Arab world in order to look at the possibility of a multilateral regional free-trade agreement. ISRAEL COMPLETES WITHDRAWAL FROM JENIN AMID EXCHANGE OF ROCKETS, AIRSTRIKES “The benefits of a multilateral agreement include the direct economic impact of liberating trade, the additional leverage the group would have in future negotiations with others, and the political consequences of developing a greater common identity,” William F. Wechsler, senior director at the Atlantic Council and of the N-7 Initiative, told Fox News. “If the agreement can happen sooner, these benefits will happen sooner.” The N-7 trade meeting in Bahrain is part of a series of conversations taking place between representatives from Israel and six Arab countries that have developed closer ties with the Jewish state in recent years. The conclusion of these talks, and other N-7 initiatives addressing such issues as water security, will be presented at the Negev Forum that is expected to take place within the next year. The forum was repeatedly postponed due to political and security issues. PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT VISITS CHINA AS BEIJING SEEKS LARGER ROLE IN MIDDLE EASTERN POLITICS, ENERGY RESOURCES The Middle East has already seen the benefits of trade cooperation. A free-trade agreement between Israel and the UAE that was signed last year is expected to generate $10 billion in joint annual economic activity. Additionally, Israel and Bahrain are expected to sign a free-trade agreement of their own in the coming months. “I see every reason why a future Middle East will be one of stability and prosperity, and one where shared cultures will far outweigh any past differences and conflicts, much like what happened in Europe,” Oren Eisner, president of the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, said in a statement. “Trade is a vital part in bringing about this vision.”
Go to Source

Scroll to Top