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Israel's Netanyahu to make first official trip to UAE Thursday: reports

Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the UAE [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 March, 2021

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Benjamin Netanyahu is to make his first official visit to the UAE on Thursday.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to make his first official visit to the UAE on Thursday following an agreement between the two countries to establish ties, Israeli media reported.

A senior official in Netanyahu's office declined to comment on the reports by Israeli public radio, Haaretz newspaper and other outlets. 

The reported visit would take place less than two weeks before Netanyahu faces re-election, Israel's fourth vote in less than two years. 

The veteran prime minister, in power since 2009, has sought to highlight his credentials as Israel's top statesman as part of his re-election pitch. 

According to the Israeli reports, Netanyahu will meet with the UAE's leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at Abu Dhabi's airport.

He will then return to Jerusalem for talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on the vaccination effort against Covid-19.

The United Arab Emirates normalised ties with the Jewish state last September, making it the first Arab country to sign on to the so-called Abraham Accords brokered by former US president Donald Trump. 

The deal made the UAE only the third majority Arab state to establish ties with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan subsequently joined the Abraham Accords. 

Netanyahu had been set to visit UAE and Bahrain in February, but the trip was put off after Israel imposed travel limitations to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

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