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Israeli diplomatic chief Yair Lapid will travel to the United Arab Emirates at the end of June for the first official visit by a minister of the Jewish state to the Gulf monarchy, Israel’s foreign ministry said on Monday.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will travel to the United Arab Emirates on June 29-30 for the first official visit by a minister from the Jewish state to the Gulf monarchy.
Yaïr Lapid “will make a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates next week as a guest of the Emirati Foreign Minister,” said Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Israeli ministry announced on Monday, June 21. This will be the first such trip, described as “historic” for these two countries, which normalized ties in September.
“Relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates are important, their fruits are appreciated not only by the citizens of the two countries but by the entire Middle East,” the Israeli ministry said in a statement.
In October 2018, then-Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev traveled to the Emirates to accompany the national judo team to the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, but it was not an official visit.
Another Israeli minister, then-Communications Druze Ayoub Kara, also spoke at an international telecoms conference in Dubai in October 2018.
In March, the first official visit of an Israeli prime minister, then Benjamin Netanyahu, to the Emirates was canceled over a “dispute” with Jordan over overflights of its airspace, the Israeli side said.
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 has normalized its ties with the Jewish state, in February due to travel restrictions imposed in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. pandemic were imposed.
Since relations between the Emirates and Israel were normalized in September 2020, spurred by the administration of former US President Donald Trump, the two countries have established direct airlines, appointed ambassadors and increased visiting trade delegations.
The Palestinians condemned the normalization accords, which they dubbed “treason” because until then, the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had been seen as a sine qua non for normalization.