UAE FM is set to visit Israel next week on the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan will visit Israel next week to mark the second anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, Channel 12 news reported Thursday.
Bin Zayed will meet with Prime Minister Yair Lapid, President Isaac Herzog, Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who continues to address Iran-related issues.
Bin Zayed last met Bennett in Abu Dhabi during a whirlwind visit by the then Israeli prime minister in June, with Iranian nuclear talks high on the agenda, as they will likely be. case at Bin Zayed’s meetings next week.
While Israel and the UAE take slightly different approaches to the issue, with Jerusalem’s stance seen as more hawkish, both countries have pressed the US to take a tougher line against Iran in the negotiations to revive the nuclear deal. Those talks reportedly made significant progress last month, but have since run into another problem in recent weeks.
The Emirati foreign minister was last in Israel in March for the Negev summit with his Bahraini, Moroccan, Egyptian and American counterparts, where they agreed to form a regional forum to discuss regional issues. This will be his first bilateral visit.
The United Arab Emirates and Israel signed a normalization agreement in 2020 under the US-backed Abraham Accords. Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have also normalized their relations with Israel under the agreements.
Trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in 2022 reached $1.4 billion in the first seven months of the year, Israel’s ambassador to the country, Amir Hayek, revealed last month. This is a significant increase from an already booming previous year when trade between the countries stood at $1.2 billion.
Despite the positive developments, there have been minor signs of friction in Israel-UAE relations. A day after a record number of Jews were allowed to visit the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day earlier this summer, the UAE Foreign Ministry called on Israel to provide ‘full protection’ on site and called for respect for the informal role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. as custodian of the holy places in Jerusalem.
The statement also called for an end to “provocative violations” on the Temple Mount and urged Israel to “maximum restraint” to avoid further instability.
In addition, plans to build a permanent shrine for the burgeoning Jewish congregation in Dubai have stalled, according to Jewish leaders. The new community faces obstacles that religious groups have long faced in the federation, where the official state religion, Islam, is tightly policed, non-Muslim practice is controlled and religious buildings are limited.