The Israeli president begins a visit to the UAE, the first...

Posted in: 30/01/2022 – 09:44

        Abu Dhabi (AFP) - On Sunday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog began a visit to the UAE, the first of its kind, during which he will meet with officials of the Gulf state and visit the Dubai Expo site, in a diplomatic move that is the latest since the normalization of relations.        

Herzog, who is accompanied by the first lady, is scheduled to meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the UAE capital, according to his office.

He is also supposed to visit the Expo on Monday to attend an event on the occasion of the National Day in the Israeli pavilion, and he will also meet with Jewish groups in the Gulf state.

“We are so excited that we are making history this morning. I am now traveling with my wife Michal for a historic visit to the UAE. This visit brings good tidings of peace between peoples and the entire Middle East,” the president said on Twitter before his departure.

And the Emirati ambassador to Israel, Muhammad Al-Khaja, announced Saturday on Twitter that the visit “was previously scheduled for January 9 and was postponed due to Covid-19 conditions.”

“We look forward to this historic visit, which will enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries, as we seek to sign important economic and trade agreements between the two countries in the near future,” he added.

In September 2020, the UAE and Bahrain announced the normalization of relations with the Hebrew state, in a move rejected by the Palestinians and classified as a departure from the Arab consensus that made the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the basis for peace with Israel.

Last month, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett paid the first visit of an Israeli prime minister to the UAE, which focused on international discussions on the Iranian nuclear file, which is a top security priority for the Jewish state.

Herzog, who holds an honorary position, pledged that “a bold new partnership … will transform the Middle East,” as the two countries signed several economic cooperation agreements.

With US sponsorship from former President Donald , the UAE became the third Arab country to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan, and Bahrain and Morocco soon followed suit.

Sudan also agreed to normalize relations with Israel, but full relations have not yet been established.

© 2022 AFP


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