On Sunday (30), Israeli President Isaac Herzog arrived in the United Arab Emirates, An unprecedented visit that represents a new stage in the Israeli rapprochement with the Arab Gulf state Since the normalization of relations between them in 2020.
Herzog and his wife Michel, at the invitation of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the de facto leader of the country, Mohammed bin Zayed, arrived in the UAE capital at 12:00 pm local time (5:00 am GMT) for two years. Daily visit.
Herzog was received by Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who immediately held a “working meeting” with him, according to a statement issued by the Israeli president’s office.
On September 15, 2020, the UAE and Bahrain became the first two Arab countries in the Gulf to publicly normalize their relations with Israel, at the invitation of then-US President Donald Trump.
The president’s visit is the second by a senior Israeli official after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who met with Mohammed bin Zayed in December to “deepen cooperation in all fields.”
The two talked about Iran’s nuclear program, a concern that Israel shares with Gulf Arab states.
In November, the two countries and Bahrain carried out naval exercises to “improve [suas] Collective Maritime Security Capabilities”, as Iran is regularly accused of carrying out hostile operations in Gulf waters.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan talk as they walk at Abu Dhabi airport, United Arab Emirates, Sunday (30) – Photo: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO / Disclosure via Reuters
Herzog, whose role in Israel is primarily in the protocol, said he was “satisfied with the reception” of this “first visit by an Israeli president to the UAE.”
Before leaving Israel, Herzog said it was a “historic” visit that sends “a message of peace to the entire region,” according to his office.
The Israeli president will meet with Mohammed bin Zayed, other Emirati officials and representatives of the local Jewish community.
On Monday (31) Herzog will travel to Dubai – another emirate of the union – where he will meet with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. It will also visit the World Expo 2020 site on the occasion of Israel’s National Day.
This is a “historic visit”. […] It will improve bilateral relations between the two countries, with the aim of signing important trade agreements in the near future,” the UAE ambassador to Israel, Mohammed Al Khaja, tweeted on Saturday.
The agreements to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates were signed by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and approved by the current ruling coalition, which was in opposition at the time.
The Palestinians denounced the so-called “Abraham Accords”, which led to similar agreements with Morocco and Sudan, describing them as “treason”, as the normalization of Arab relations with Israel was, for a long time, conditional on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Since then, the UAE has signed several agreements with Israel, in areas such as tourism, aviation, and financial services.
According to the owner of the Israeli consulate in Dubai, Ilan Shtoleman Starosta, about 200,000 Israelis visited the UAE between September 2020 and September 2021, and about 40 companies from their country settled in the Arab Union.
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