N7 Initiative

The N7 Initiative hosts multilateral conferences for government officials across the region. It develops ideas and recommendations for governments in support of the Negev Working Group by producing independent scholarship, hosting public and private events, and serving as a clearinghouse for information on the status of normalization.  The N7 Initiative helps build personal relationships among government officials and thought leaders across the region.

Upcoming Conferences

Over the coming months, the N7 Initiative will organize a series of multilateral conferences focusing on education, agriculture, and trade.

Conference on Education and Coexistence

December 5 – 7, 2022

Rabat, Morocco

Conference on Agriculture, Water, and Food Security

Winter 2023

United Arab Emirates

Conference on Trade

Winter 2023

Middle East

Senior Leadership Conference

Spring 2023

Israel

The N7 Initiative will continue to convene additional issue-focused conferences, in line with the Negev Forum Working Groups, on clean energy, tourism, health, and regional security.

Leadership

William F. Wechsler

Senior Director, N7 Initiative

Ambassador Daniel Shapiro

Director, N7 Initiative

Former United States Ambassador to Israel

Nonresident Senior Fellows

Nasredeen Abdulbari

Nonresident Senior Fellow

Former Minister of Justice, Sudan

Marcy Grossman

Nonresident Senior Fellow

Former Canadian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates

Past events

Latest analysis from Atlantic Council

MENASource

Dec 15, 2022

Cultural exchange can foster a peaceful coexistence in the Middle East

By Nureldin Satti

Cultural exchange is based on the will of individuals, groups, and nations to reach out to each other and better learn, or re-learn, to live together.

Israel Middle East

MENASource

Dec 3, 2022

How an organization is promoting non-violence, tolerance, and peace in school education across the Middle East

By Marcus Sheff

The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) brings a practical approach to the field of educational research and policymaking.

Israel Middle East

MENASource

Dec 2, 2022

Morocco is building bridges to connect its youth with its Moroccan Jewish cultural heritage. Here’s how.

By El Mehdi Boudra

Morocco’s continuation of decades-long efforts to safeguard the Moroccan Jewish heritage is integral to combating extremism and hatred and fostering interreligious dialogue.

Israel Middle East

MENASource

Nov 22, 2022

The Sudanese Bar Association drafted a transitional constitution. How can it be improved?

By Nasredeen Abdulbari and Mutasim Ali

The initiative demonstrates the importance of professional institutions and trade unions in bringing political organizations together and restoring the democratic transformation process. However, there are key issues that require further discussion and inclusion in the draft constitution.

Africa East Africa

In the News

Oct 21, 2022

Shapiro in the Jerusalem Strategic Tribune: The ASEAN Model – A Vision of Middle East Integration Beyond the Abraham Accords

By Atlantic Council

The summit of foreign ministers came together on relatively short notice. It was unstructured, informal, with little of the staff work or pre-negotiation that normally precedes such gatherings. The agenda was slim and general, and the outcome rather modest. But viewed through a historical scope, the results were transformational.

Israel Middle East

In the News

Oct 12, 2022

Shapiro in Times of Israel: Creative diplomacy yields wins for Lebanon and bigger wins for Israel

By Atlantic Council

Israel Lebanon

Event Recap

Sep 29, 2022

Two years since the Abraham Accords: How the region is transforming

By Yulia Shalomov, Mariah Smith

On September 8, the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs hosted a virtual eventon the second anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel and regional neighbors.

Economy & Business Israel

In the News

Sep 22, 2022

The Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Fellow Ambassador Daniel B. Shapiro provides testimony for the House Foreign Affairs Committee

By Atlantic Council

Middle East programs Distinguished Fellow Daniel B. Shapiro testifies for Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

Israel Middle East

Press Release

Sep 12, 2022

Ambassador Marcy Grossman, Former Canadian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, joins the Atlantic Council as nonresident senior fellow

By Atlantic Council

Ambassador Grossman will contribute regional and government experience to the Council’s work on the Israeli-Arab normalization process and regional conflict resolution initiatives.

Conflict English

In the News

Sep 9, 2022

Ferziger in Circuit News: UAE-Israel cyber intelligence firm grows with its perch in the Gulf

By Atlantic Council

Israel Politics & Diplomacy

MENASource

Sep 9, 2022

Iran helped Turkey and Israel mend ties. Here’s how.

By Ksenia Svetlova

Ankara and Jerusalem will continue to work jointly to prevent terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens in Turkey and explore the possibility of pursuing common goals vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic and its many regional proxies. 

Israel Middle East

In the News

Aug 30, 2022

Shaffer in Mosaic Magazine: Turkish-Israel Normalization Is Good News for the U.S.

Conflict Israel

MENASource

Aug 23, 2022

Middle Eastern nations should learn from history and back Sudan’s democratic forces

By Nasredeen Abdulbari and Mutasim Ali

The Middle Eastern countries that are interested in establishing political relations with Sudan, such as Israel, and those that are interested in investing, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, should stand on the side of pro-democracy civilian forces.

Israel Middle East

TURKEYSource

Aug 23, 2022

Washington wins as Turkey and Israel restore normal ties

By Brenda Shaffer

Turkey and Israel restoring full diplomatic ties is a boon for each country and in the interests of the United States.

Israel National Security

In the News

Aug 8, 2022

Mack in Prolific Solutions: Normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel is important for relations between Washington and Abu Dhabi

By Atlantic Council

Israel Politics & Diplomacy

In the News

Aug 8, 2022

Charai in the Jerusalem Strategic Tribune: Letter from the publisher

As we approach the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, their importance has only grown. The accords—the culmination of a process of peace and reconciliation between Israel and four Arab countries—opened the doors to trade and tourism, as well as scientific and diplomatic cooperation. Read Charai’s latest in the Jerusalem Strategic Tribune […]

Israel Middle East

Event Recap

Aug 1, 2022

Biden’s trip to the Middle East: Outcomes and opportunities

By Alexandra Kaiss and Mariah Smith

On July 21st, the Middle East Programs’ Israel Project, in collaboration with the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, hosted a virtual event titled “Biden’s trip to the Middle East: Outcomes and opportunities.”

Israel Middle East

In the News

Aug 1, 2022

Shapiro interviewed in Al-Monitor Podcast about Israel-Saudi Arabia normalization

By Atlantic Council

Israel Politics & Diplomacy

MENASource

Jul 15, 2022

Experts react: What’s next for the Middle East after Biden’s big visit?

By Daniel B. Shapiro, Barbara Slavin, Ariel Ezrahi, Thomas S. Warrick, Shalom Lipner, Carmiel Arbit, Nadereh Chamlou, Sina Azodi, Mark N. Katz, Andrew L. Peek

The trip focuses on repairing relationships across the region in an effort to foster regional stability and advance normalization with Israel. Atlantic Council experts react to the trip and what it means for the wider region.

Israel Middle East

New Atlanticist

Jul 12, 2022

Biden’s big chance to build a new coalition in the Middle East

By Daniel B. Shapiro

A regional coalition is emerging of US partners who face common security threats and share similar social, economic, energy, and climate-related challenges.

Israel Middle East

In the News

Jun 27, 2022

Alam featured in Middle East Eye on Pakistan and Israel: ‘Normalisation’ a hard sell but a narrative is building

By Atlantic Council

Conflict Israel

MENASource

Jun 24, 2022

The Israeli government collapse was a curveball for Biden’s upcoming visit. But it shows the depth of the US-Israel relationship.

By Daniel B. Shapiro

President Joe Biden’s team was thrown a curveball on June 20, as the year-old coalition built by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid finally gave way to internal pressures.

Israel Middle East

In the News

Jun 22, 2022

Shapiro interviewed in Al-Monitor podcast on steps toward Israel-Saudi Arabia normalization

By Atlantic Council

Israel Politics & Diplomacy

In the News

Jun 14, 2022

Charai in The Hill: “Biden’s Middle East trip is an opportunity for a much-needed reset”

The Middle East is an important geopolitical region. The United States should maintain meaningful military, diplomatic and economic engagement in the region. Read Charai’s latest in The Hill on America’s engagement in the Middle East. Ahmed Charai is a Moroccan publisher and an Atlantic Council Board Director. He is also an international counselor of the Center […]

Conflict Israel

In the News

Jun 13, 2022

Lipner quoted in Circuit News on UAE embassy chief Hayek’s suitability to bring Arabs and Israelis together

By Atlantic Council

Economy & Business Israel

In the News

Jun 9, 2022

Shapiro interviewed on CNBC about Saudi Arabia beginning to view Israel as a ‘potential partner’

By Atlantic Council

Israel Politics & Diplomacy

In the News

Jun 2, 2022

Shapiro quoted in AP News on increasing relations between Israel-Saudi as US increases US Command in Israel

By Atlantic Council

Israel Oil and Gas

In the News

May 25, 2022

Shapiro quoted in Haaretz on the how the Red Sea islands could normalize Israel-Saudi relations

By Atlantic Council

International Norms Israel

In the News

May 27, 2022

Shapiro quoted in Sudan Tribune on how Israel would need US support for normalization between Israel-Sudan

By Atlantic Council

Israel Politics & Diplomacy

In the News

May 25, 2022

Fergizer mentioned in Jewish Insider on Israeli CEOs flying to Casablanca, Morocco to offer advice on startup culture

By Atlantic Council

Economy & Business Israel

Inflection Points

Dec 13, 2020

Biden’s best chance for Mideast gains: go slow on Iran and build fast off the Abraham Accords

By Frederick Kempe

Imagine President-elect Biden standing before two doors that represent the Middle Eastern quandary he faces. One door is marked “Return to Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal.” The other is labeled “Build Upon Trump’s Abraham Accords.” As it is with most of these tales, there are perils in both paths.

Economy & Business Elections

In the News

May 16, 2022

Shapiro quoted in Jewish Insider on establishing high-level delegation between Israel and the Gulf countries

By Atlantic Council

Israel Middle East

In the News

May 12, 2022

Shapiro quoted in Times of Israel on how Palestinians must respond to Israel normalization in the Middle East

By Atlantic Council

Israel Middle East

Event Recap

May 10, 2022

Building a New Middle East – A Conversation with US Ambassador to Israel Thomas R. Nides  

By Salwa Balla

On May 3, the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs hosted a public event with Ambassador Thomas R. Nides, US Ambassador to Israel.

Israel Middle East

In the News

May 6, 2022

Blanford in CS Monitor: The Syria-Israeli peace deal that almost was: A diplomat looks back

By Atlantic Council

International Norms Israel

In the News

May 4, 2022

Ferziger in The Circuit: Biden hopes to recruit new Arab country for Abraham Accords, Israel envoy says

By Atlantic Council

Conflict Israel

Event Recap

Apr 29, 2022

‘Blessing in Movement’ – Private Roundtable with Esawi Frej 

By Salwa Balla

On March 31, the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs hosted a private roundtable with Esawi Frej, Israel’s Minister of Regional Cooperation.

Israel Middle East

In the News

Apr 26, 2022

Ferziger in the Jewish Insider: Israeli defense chief hosts Iftar for Arab ambassadors

By Atlantic Council

Conflict Human Rights

In the News

Mar 29, 2022

Shapiro quoted in Times of Israel on Israel’s meeting with Arab nations at Negev Summit and priorities on Iran nuclear deal

By Atlantic Council

Economy & Business Energy & Environment

Press Release

Mar 28, 2022

Ambassador Daniel Shapiro Joins Atlantic Council

By Atlantic Council

Daniel B. Shapiro, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, joins the Middle East Programs’ Israel Initiative.

Israel Middle East

In the News

Mar 25, 2022

Wechsler quoted in The Wall Street Journal on Israel’s first hosting of Arab diplomats

By Atlantic Council

Economy & Business Israel

Event Recap

Mar 17, 2022

Promoting tolerance: How can education counter decades of mistrust?

By Salwa Balla

Peace and stability are fragile, and the best way to build sustainable relationships between Israel and the Middle East is through tolerance-building and educational reforms initiatives.

Israel Middle East

TURKEYSource

Mar 9, 2022

With the Israeli president’s visit, are Israel-Turkey relations back on track?

By Atlantic Council IN TURKEY

The Atlantic Council IN TURKEY discusses the significance of Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Turkey, the first state level bilateral visit since 2008 following over a decade of tensions between the two countries.

Geopolitics & Energy Security Israel

MENASource

Mar 2, 2022

The UAE education system is pushing for peace and religious tolerance. The rest of the region should follow suit.

By Marcus Sheff

Education is the key to fostering the development of peaceful and tolerant societies. However, it can also be a tool for political and religious radicalization, exploited by bad actors.

Education Israel

In the News

Feb 7, 2022

Wechsler quoted in Jewish Insider on Israel-UAE cooperation

By Atlantic Council

Israel Middle East
International Friendly - United Arab Emirates v Israel

Issue Brief

Aug 30, 2021

Pitching Abraham’s tent: The human dimension of UAE-Israeli normalization

By Yoel Guzansky, Shalom Lipner, Jonathan H. Ferziger, Sarah Feuer, Tomer Fadlon, Ari Heistein, Ebtesam Al Ketbi, and Noura Al Breiki

In the past year, many have written on the normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states, focusing on economic interests and emphasizing shared security interests in the region. Case studies, however, indicate that relations between countries are improved when they encompass aspects related to the lives of citizens. Incorporating an element of cultural affinity […]

Economy & Business Israel

MENASource

Aug 13, 2021

It’s been one year since the Abraham Accords. Gulf-Israel ties are still far from normal.

By Jonathan H. Ferziger

One year after former President Donald Trump coaxed the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize relations, ties between the two countries and other signatories to the Abraham Accords have a distance to go before they can be considered an enduring success.

Israel Middle East

MENASource

Jul 20, 2021

As Israel and Jordan face an environmental squeeze, they must rebuild trust

By Gabriel Mitchell

Since signing a peace treaty in 1994, the two Middle Eastern neighbors have enjoyed several decades of economic and security cooperation. But today, the Israel-Jordan relationship is in dire straits.

Israel Middle East

Inflection Points

May 9, 2021

Four Mideast signs of change offer historic opportunity. Here’s how Biden can build on them.

By Frederick Kempe

A positive series of loosely connected events across the Middle East offers the best opportunity in memory for reducing tensions, ending conflict, building economic progress, and advancing regional integration.

Iran Israel

Press Release

Apr 26, 2021

Atlantic Council and Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation partner to launch Abraham Dialogues

New project will build on normalization agreements to foster sustainable ties between Israel and Arab neighbors

Israel Middle East

In the News

Mar 14, 2021

Lipner and Ferziger in The National: President Biden must engage with the Abraham Accords

Israel Middle East

MENASource

Feb 2, 2021

Israel, UAE leap ahead in vaccination drive against coronavirus

By Jonathan H. Ferziger

The efficient manner in which Israel and the UAE have acquired and administered the vaccines contrasts with what has been described as a bumbling process in the United States and some of Europe’s most advanced economies.

Israel Middle East

In the News

Dec 24, 2020

Charai in the National Interest: Why Israel and Morocco are ushering in a new era of peace

By Atlantic Council

During a recent visit to Morocco, Israeli national security advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat did something highly symbolic: he expressed his allegiance to King Mohammed VI in Moroccan Arabic, demonstrating his own ties to the country as well as the greater history between the two nations. This is a historical moment, says Atlantic Council Board Director Ahmed Charai, which will mark a turn towards greater peace between Morocco and Israel and a return to the tolerance reflected in Morocco’s history.

Israel Middle East

MENASource

Dec 22, 2020

The quest for water: Will the Abraham Accords change the water landscape for the region?

By Rumaitha Al Busaidi

With the threat of climate change already creating direct consequences for water security and conflict, safeguarding water for the region will prove to not only be a challenging task, but an even more crucial one than during the last multilateral efforts in the 1990s.

Climate Change & Climate Action Energy & Environment

In the News

Dec 11, 2020

Charai in the National Interest: The blessings of the Moroccan-Israel agreement

By Atlantic Council

With the recent announcement of a normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel, critics have downplayed the importance of this new agreement for Morocco. However, Atlantic Council Board Director Ahmed Charai argues, the agreement was not inevitable, but rather a remarkable breakthrough, presenting lessons on the benefits of a regional diplomatic approach to future negotiators. […]

Israel Middle East

MENASource

Dec 10, 2020

Experts react: What the Morocco-Israel deal means for the Middle East

By Atlantic Council

Atlantic Council experts react to the normalization of ties between Morocco and Israel and what it means for the wider region.

Africa Israel

New Atlanticist

Oct 23, 2020

Experts react: Sudan and Israel reach historic peace agreement

By Atlantic Council

Sudan became the latest country to normalize its relationship with Israel on October 23, as an agreement between the two countries ended the official status of war between them. Atlantic Council experts react to the normalization between Sudan and Israel, and analyze what it means for both countries and the wider region.

Democratic Transitions International Markets

Press Release

Oct 15, 2020

The Atlantic Council, Emirates Policy Center, and Institute for National Security Studies announce strategic partnership to advance UAE-Israel relations

October 15, 2020 — The August 2020 announcement of the Abraham Accords marked a historic moment for relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The agreement is a significant and exciting accomplishment. In addition to normalizing relations, the UAE and Israel have opened the door for cooperation and collaboration across economic, political, and security […]

Israel Middle East

Inflection Points

Sep 20, 2020

UAE, Bahrain deals with Israel offer the Mideast a historic chance for positive change—if the region will build upon it

By Frederick Kempe

These deals present the region its best opportunity perhaps ever to bury its bloody, self-defeating past and embrace moderation and modernity. Yet that will only be true if the parties can work with international partners to protect the so-called Abraham Accords Peace Agreement from extremist assault and from Israeli hardliners bent on territorial expansion.

Conflict International Norms

MENASource

Sep 18, 2020

UAE-Israel accord will drive economic growth in the Middle East, says Emirati Minister of Economy

By Lucy Grathwohl

On September 16 empowerME Director Amjad Ahmad and Al Mari discussed how the historic signing of the Abraham Accords will facilitate the UAE and Israel to open their economies.

Economy & Business Israel

MENASource

Sep 18, 2020

From Netanyahu’s plane to White House Lawn: Behind the scenes of the Israel-Gulf deal

By Jonathan H. Ferziger

The shrouds have been lifted with the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Emirates, and Bahrain, and deals are proliferating.

Israel Middle East

In the News

Sep 16, 2020

Charai in The Hill: Abraham Accords: New hope for peace in Middle East

By Atlantic Council

Though some in Arab countries fear that signing a peace agreement with Israel will threaten the prospects for a two-state solution, the Abraham Accords could mark a major turning point in the Middle East. And, Atlantic Council Board Director Ahmed Charai argues, could present an opportunity for both Israelis and Palestinians to see increased security, economic opportunity, and hope. Read Atlantic Council Board Director Ahmed Charai’s latest in The Hill on the potential for peace in the Middle East as a result of the Abraham Accords.

Israel Middle East

In the News

Sep 16, 2020

Ferziger in Foreign Policy: For Netanyahu, Normalization Deals Are a Long-Awaited Vindication

Israel Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

MENASource

Sep 11, 2020

Experts react: US brokers another deal in Middle East with Israel and Bahrain

By William F. Wechsler, Kirsten Fontenrose, Marc J. Sievers, Jonathan H. Ferziger, Barbara Slavin, Carmiel Arbit, Michel Duclos, Richard LeBaron, Mark N. Katz, Thomas S. Warrick, Sina Azodi, Joze Pelayo

Atlantic Council experts react to Bahrain agreement to normalize ties with Israel and what it means for the wider region.

Israel Middle East

MENASource

Jan 4, 2021

Experts react: The US brokers another deal to end the Gulf rift

By Atlantic Council

On January 4, it was reported that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf states are expected to sign a deal towards ending the “Gulf rift.” Atlantic Council experts react to the agreement and what it means for the wider region.

Democratic Transitions Middle East

New Atlanticist

Aug 20, 2020

UAE Foreign Minister: Deal with Israel was made to save the two-state solution

By David A. Wemer

The normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was just “a matter of time,” according to UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, but the UAE finally struck the deal in return for the suspension of the Israeli government’s annexation plans, he said.

Conflict Defense Policy

In the News

Aug 15, 2020

Ferziger in Foreign Policy: How 9/11 and the Coronavirus Pushed the UAE and Israel Together

Civil Society Coronavirus

In the News

Aug 14, 2020

Handler in Lawfare: Normalizing Arab-Israeli Relations Through Cybersecurity Cooperation

By Atlantic Council

This diplomatic rekindling between Israel and the Arab world offers an opportunity for the United States to establish a regional cybersecurity cooperation center dedicated to the protection of critical infrastructure.

Cybersecurity Iran

New Atlanticist

Aug 13, 2020

A rare strategic victory—for everyone except Iran

By William F. Wechsler

It’s been so long since the Middle East last experienced undeniably good news, that observers can be forgiven if they have difficulty recognizing it when it happens. But the “Abraham Accords” is indeed one of those moments.

Israel Politics & Diplomacy

New Atlanticist

Aug 13, 2020

Will US-brokered agreement between UAE and Israel be a regional gamechanger?

By Atlantic Council

A US-brokered deal has seen Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalize relations for the first time in history. Atlantic Council experts discuss what the agreement means and what is next for the wider region:

Conflict Israel

New Atlanticist

Jul 7, 2020

New report assesses Israel’s warming ties with Arab Gulf states

By Larry Luxner

Common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, growing uncertainty about the US commitment to the Gulf region, a desire by oil-rich Arab nations to access Israeli know-how, and the worsening COVID-19 pandemic have given momentum to a rapprochement between Israel and the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Israel Politics & Diplomacy
Gulf States - Netanyahu & Qaboos

Issue Brief

Jul 7, 2020

Israel’s growing ties with the Arab Gulf states

By Jonathan H. Ferziger, Gawdat Bahgat

Once thought to be irreconcilable adversaries, Israel and the Gulf states have grown closer in recent years. What started as under-the-table intelligence sharing designed to counter Iran’s ambitions throughout the Middle East has morphed into greater cooperation not only on security but also on economic, political, and cultural issues.

Israel Politics & Diplomacy

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