Sunday, September 25, 2022

Israeli PM meets UAE Crown Prince in Abu Dhabi

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed at his private palace in Abu Dhabi, according to Bennett's office.

It marked the first official visit of an Israeli Prime Minister to the United Arab Emirates and comes 15 months after the signing of a normalization agreement between the two countries.

Bennett had earlier highlighted growing trade ties between his country and the UAE in an interview with WAM, the Emirates’ state-run news agency. But there was no mention in the agency’s write-up of the interview of tensions with Iran.

“The volume of mutual trade has expedited within a few months with limitless future opportunities to develop it. Israel, like the UAE, is a regional hub for trade. Our cooperation provides unprecedented economic opportunities not only for us, but for more countries, which is another element for enhancing stability and prosperity in this region,” Bennett is quoted as saying.

The Israeli leader mentioned cyber security, health, education and aviation as four areas where the two countries were enjoying fruitful trade and investment, WAM wrote.

In addition to trade, the normalization agreement signed between Israel and the UAE, one of a series of such agreements inked between Israel and Arab states in the last months of the Donald Trump administration, is also seen in Israel as having a strong regional security component to it, specifically, shared concerns over Iran.

But the interview made only the slightest possible nod in that direction, writing: ‘On the UAE’s efforts to enhance international cooperation for facing common challenges, the Israeli Prime Minister stressed, “The values of tolerance, peace and dialogue are common, and that is why the friendship that unites us developed at such a high speed.’”

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