Israeli Foreign Minister begins historic visit to United Arab Emirates

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Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday. He is the first Israeli minister to visit the Gulf monarchy a year after relations between the two countries were normalized.

For the first time, an Israeli minister will descend on UAE soil on Tuesday, June 29 for an official visit. The chief of Israeli diplomacy, Yair Lapid, arrived in this Gulf monarchy on Tuesday morning.

The minister is scheduled to inaugurate the Israeli Embassy in the Emirates, a first in the Gulf, and meet with senior Emirati officials. He will also travel to Dubai for the official openings of the Israeli consulate and his country’s pavilion at the World Expo (October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022).

The chief of diplomacy tweeted a photo of him on a plane on Tuesday morning, along with the words: “Taking off on a historic visit to the Emirates.”

“The Israeli delegation will land in Abu Dhabi in the late morning and will be received by the Minister of Economy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates,” the Israeli statement said.

“Thirty years experience as a diplomat but to see the blue and white here at Abu Dhabi airport while waiting for the foreign minister to land is exhilarating!” he tweeted Tomorrow the Israeli Ambassador to the Emirates, Eitan Na’eh.

normalization of relationships

Since relations between the Emirates and Israel were normalized in September 2020, the two countries, led by former US President Donald Trump’s administration, have established direct airlines, appointed ambassadors and increased visiting trade delegations.

Finally, in March, the first official visit by an Israeli prime minister, then Benjamin Netanyahu, to the Emirates was canceled over a “dispute” with Jordan over overflight of its airspace, the Israeli side said at the time.

Benjamin Netanyahu, who has since been succeeded as prime minister by Naftali Bennett, had already postponed a visit to the Emirates and Bahrain, another Gulf emirate that had recently normalized its ties with the Jewish state, in February due to travel restrictions to combat Covid-19 . 19 pandemic.

The Palestinians have denounced the normalization deals signed by several Arab states for a year, which they described as a “treason”, with the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until then seen as a sine qua non for normalization.

With AFP

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