Israel's Netanyahu to make first UAE trip next month

Israel's Netanyahu to make first UAE trip next month
2 min read
17 November, 2020
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed is expecting Benjamin Netanyahu to visit the United Arab Emirates next week after sending an official invitation to the Israeli prime minister.
The two countries signed normalisation deals at the White House in September [Getty]
Israel’s prime minister is scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates for the first time next month, according to local reports.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Abu Dhabi is a response to an official invitation from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, Ynet News said on Monday.

No dates have yet been specified for the trip to the UAE but it is expected to be the first of its kind following the controversial normalisation deal between the two countries.

The UAE led the way in forging ties between the Gulf and Israel, announcing its decision in August, before Bahrain followed suit a month later.

Both Gulf states signed the US-sponsored normalisation accords with Israel on September 15 at the White House, despite fierce opposition by Palestinian factions who see it as a "betrayal" for breaking with years of Arab League policy on the conflict.

The consensus had been that there should be no relations with Israel until it makes peace with the Palestinians.

Last month, Israel and the UAE cemented their new-found ties by signing agreements on visa-free travel, civil aviation, investment protection, and science and technology during a first official Emirati delegation visit to the Jewish state.

Read also: Biden will help Saudi normalisation, predicts Gulf-allied rabbi

Meanwhile, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdellatif al-Zayani is to make a visit to Israel on Wednesday, the first by a senior Bahraini official since the two countries signed a normalisation deal, official media said.

The BNA news agency said the visit would "affirm Bahrain's strong and permanent position in favour of supporting the peace process" and be focused on "the economic opportunities and bilateral accords with Israel”.

Egypt and Jordan already established ties with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively. Sudan recently followed in the footsteps of the UAE and Bahrain by announcing a normalisation deal with the Jewish state last month.

 

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