Israeli PM heads to UAE in first visit since normalisation

Israeli PM heads to UAE in first visit since normalisation
2 min read
12 December, 2021
The Israeli prime minister will make his first trip to the UAE on Sunday since the two normalised ties last year
Bennett's visit will be the first ever by an Israeli prime minister to the UAE [Getty- archive]

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will travel to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday and meet the Gulf state's de facto ruler in the highest-level visit since the countries formalised relations last year.

The trip comes amid heightened regional tension as world powers' try to renew a nuclear deal with Iran. Israel and some Gulf Arabs share concern over Iranian activities in the region.

"I will be going out today to the United Arab Emirates, in the first visit ever by an Israeli prime minister," Bennett told a meeting of his cabinet on Sunday.

There was no immediate confirmation from Abu Dhabi.

The UAE along with Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco moved toward normal ties with Israel under a controversial US-sponsored deal, dubbed the "Abraham Accords". The agreement was slammed by Palestinians and much of the Arab world as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause. 

Bennett's trip on Sunday would be the first by an Israeli premier to any of those four countries.

He will meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan on Monday, Bennett's office said.

The pair will discuss deepening ties, with an emphasis on economic issues that will contribute to prosperity, welfare and strengthening stability between the countries, the Israeli statement added.

(Reuters)