Bennett Meets with UAE Crown Prince in Historic Visit

Just days before having to close down Israeli travel to the UAE due to coronavirus, Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Emirati Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Monday at his palace in Abu Dhabi. The visit was the first time an Israeli premier had visited the United Arab Emirates.

Talks between the two leaders focused on how to handle the shared threat from Iran and also how to further develop economic cooperation between their nations.

“I appreciate your warm hospitality…I am excited to be here, on the first official visit by an Israeli leader here,” Prime Minister Bennett said. “The message that I wish to deliver to the UAE leaders and Emirati citizens is that mutual partnership and friendship are natural. We are neighbors and cousins. We are the grandchildren of Prophet Abraham.”

Continuing what began in the Abraham Accords last year, Israel and the UAE have signed cooperation agreements in commerce, research and development, cybersecurity, health, aviation, education, and more.

Crown Prince bin Zayed “highlighted that the UAE’s foreign relations are based on firm principles of mutual respect, cooperation, and upholding the values of coexistence and peace…expressing his hope that stability will prevail in the Middle East.”

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had planned on several occasions to visit the UAE after the Abraham Accords were signed, but his trips were canceled due to various reasons during the height of the pandemic. Prime Minister Bennett took a scaled-down delegation with him for this visit, and no press, due to concerns over the Omicron variant.

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