UAE foreign minister visits Holocaust Memorial with Israeli counterpart, vows ‘never again’
The UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed declared “never again” after visiting a Holocaust memorial in Germany with his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi on Tuesday.
Zayed left a message written in Arabic and English in the visitors’ book at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe memorial in Berlin, describing the site as “a witness to the fall of a group of human beings who were victims of advocates of extremism and hatred.”
“Whatever led to the murder of millions of innocent victims will not happen again,” Sheikh Abdullah added and emphasized that the UAE’s message to the world is one of “peace, tolerance and hope,” according to a statement by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The UAE and Bahrain became the first Arab nations to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. The two Gulf countries signed in mid-September US-brokered deals to normalize relations with Israel.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who was with Zayed and Ashkenazi, called the agreement between Israel and the UAE the “first good news in the Middle East for a long time – and a chance for new movement in the dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.”
“This opportunity must be seized,” he said, voicing the readiness of the European Union to help.
Ashkenazi’s father, Yosef Ashkenazi, is a Holocaust survivor from Bulgaria.