JERUSALEM, December 12, 2021 (AFP) — Naftali Bennett arrived in Abu Dhabi this Sunday (12) for the first official visit of a head of government of the United Arab Emirates, which has normalized its ties with Israel in 2020 . Informed AFP -Voice.
The Israeli prime minister will meet with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on Monday (13) to talk about “strengthening ties between the two countries,” the Bennett cabinet announced in a statement earlier.
The senior Israeli official was received by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, according to photos and videos posted on Twitter by Bennett’s spokesman, Ofir Gendelman.
“I am very excited to be here for the first official visit of an Israeli leader. We look forward to strengthening ties between the two countries,” the prime minister told the emirate’s minister, according to Gendelman.
The two leaders should “address economic and regional issues that contribute to the strengthening of wealth, prosperity and stability” between Israel and the emirate.
“Relationships are excellent, we must develop them, strengthen them and build peace between people,” Bennett said in a video released by his office before boarding the plane in Israel.
The visit comes as talks between Tehran and the main powers (the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom) resumed in Vienna to save the Iranian nuclear deal.
The talks have been criticized by Israel, which urges Washington to end them and take “concrete measures” against Iran.
The deal, which offered Iran the lifting of some of the sanctions hurting its economy in exchange for a drastic reduction in its nuclear program under tight UN control, has been stalled since the United States unilaterally withdrew in 2018 .
Washington reinstated sanctions, prompting Tehran to disobey most of its commitments.
The emirate, which shares Israel’s opposition to Iran, remains an important economic partner of the Islamic Republic.
In early December, the Emirate’s National Security Adviser, Sheikh Tahaun bin Zayed, visited Tehran on the first visit by a senior Emirati official since ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia broke down in 2016, when Riyadh took over an influential Shia cleric. had killed.
Subsequently, the emirate downgraded its diplomatic ties with Tehran.
– Abraham Accords – On September 15, 2020, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, under the encouragement of the then US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kuchner, the mastermind of this, became the first Arabs to publicly normalize their relations with Israel Gulf countries. strategy.
The so-called ‘Abraham Agreement’ led to similar agreements with Morocco and Sudan.
They were signed by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and approved by Israel’s current ruling coalition, then in opposition.
The Palestinians denounced the Abrahamic Agreement as a betrayal, as the resolution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict had long been a prerequisite for any normalization of relations between the Arab countries and Israel.
In June, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid inaugurated the country’s first embassy in the Gulf and a consulate in Dubai, in Abu Dhabi, during an unprecedented official visit. Emirati officials in Tel Aviv did the same.
The emirate has been promoting diversification of its economy for decades so that it becomes less dependent on oil. Since normalization with Israel, the emirate has signed several agreements with the Jewish nation, ranging from tourism to aviation, as well as financial services.
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