Israeli PM to meet Bahrain, UAE ministers in New York
Israel’s prime minister is set to meet ministers from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in New York on Sunday, in the first such meetings with Gulf officials since taking office.
Naftali Bennett is scheduled to meet foreign ministers Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani from Bahrain as well as Emirati Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, a statement on Saturday confirmed.
Both Gulf states sparked outrage last year after formalising ties with Israel in a move slammed by much of the Arab world and the Palestinians as a betrayal.
Known as the Abraham Accords and mediated by the US, the UAE and Bahrain, followed by Sudan then Morocco established diplomatic ties with the Jewish State, without a comprehensive and lasting peace with the Palestinians.
In return for normalising with Israel, the US had promised Sudan that it would be lifted off the state-sponsored terrorist list and helped financially.
Morocco was also guaranteed US recognition of its sovereignty over the disputed-Western Sahara territory.
The UAE and Bahrain, the first countries in over 20 years to sign a peace deal with Israel after Jordan and Egypt, have established numerous diplomatic and trade links with the Jewish state. The UAE in particular now enjoys multimillion dollars worth of trade with Israel and has exchanged official ambassadors.
Earlier this month, Israel named its first ambassador to Bahrain.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid made a landmark visit to the UAE in July, opening an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate in Dubai, while the UAE established an embassy in Tel Aviv.