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World NewsIsraeli prime minister makes historic UAE visit, stressing 'new reality' for region

Israeli prime minister makes historic UAE visit, stressing ‘new reality’ for region

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (L) welcomed by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on December 12, 2021.

Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) | Handout | Anadolu Agency by way of Getty Images

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett touched down within the United Arab Emirates Monday in a historic go to, marking the primary time an Israeli chief has publicly met the UAE’s de-facto ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Bennett took the chance to emphasise what he noticed and, certainly, what regional analysts describe as a brand new actuality for the Middle East: “In my opinion, this is what the peace and the new reality this region is witnessing, and we are working together to ensure a better future for our children,” he instructed UAE state information company WAM.

Later on Monday, Bennett’s workplace introduced that Mohammed bin Zayed accepted the Israeli chief’s invitation to go to Israel. The date of that go to has not but been established.

The UAE and Israel signed the historic Abraham Accords in August of 2020, brokered by the Trump administration and marking the first-ever normalization of ties between Israel and an Arab Gulf nation. Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco later adopted with their very own normalization agreements with Israel.

Despite some criticism from different components of the Arab world, Israel and the UAE have cast forward with billions of {dollars} value of commerce, tourism, know-how and transport partnerships. Within months of the accords’ signing, Israeli vacationers had been pouring into the UAE’s eating places, seashores and malls. December noticed open-air Hannukah ceremonies held in Dubai, one thing that may have been unimaginable simply two years earlier than.

A mask-clad Israeli vacationer within the historic al-Fahidi neighborhood of Dubai on January 11, 2021. As a lot of the world tightens lockdowns amid COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Dubai stays open for tourism, branding itself as a sunny, quarantine-free escape — regardless of a pointy rise in instances.

KARIM SAHIB | AFP by way of Getty Images

Bennett stated of the accords, “The relations between the two countries have strengthened in all fields, and I am very satisfied with that, as many cooperation agreements were concluded in the fields of trade, research and development, and cyber security, health, education, aviation and more, and I look forward to the continued development and consolidation of relations.”

The strengthening UAE-Israel bond is useful to each nations in relation to protection technique vis-a-vis their shared adversary Iran. Still, this week’s assembly is extra vital by way of a lift to Bennett’s picture domestically, stated Taufiq Rahim, Dubai-based senior fellow within the worldwide safety program on the New America assume tank. 

“This visit is one year in the making and in some respects is overdue. The relationship between the two countries has already accelerated significantly. This meeting will be much more impactful back in Israel for PM Bennett’s standing than any new strategic shift in the region.”

Rising stakes with Iran

The assembly comes amid rising tensions within the region between Iran and its adversaries, as Tehran ramps up its nuclear improvement whereas partaking in negotiations with western powers to attempt to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Known formally because the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Obama-era deal lifted financial sanctions on Iran in trade for limits on its nuclear program, and has been dramatically breached on each side since former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of it in 2018 and reimposed painful sanctions on Iran. Israel has lengthy vocally opposed a return to the deal.

In addition to furthering bilateral cooperation with the UAE, the timing of Bennett’s go to is linked to “the impasse in the JCPOA negotiations which is increasing the risk of conflict with Iran,” stated Samuel Ramani, a tutor of International Relations on the University of Oxford. “The Iran threat was a key driver of Israel-UAE informal cooperation a decade ago, and Israel will want to ensure that it remains an area of collaboration at this perilous time.”

Meanwhile, the Gulf’s strongest states — Saudi Arabia and the UAE — have made gestures in the best way of rapprochement with Tehran. Saudi officers have engaged in direct talks with Iran to deescalate tensions, although no breakthrough is but anticipated. News of these talks was welcomed by the Biden administration. And in the beginning of December, the UAE’s high nationwide safety advisor Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan Tahnoon, brother of Mohammed bin Zayed, visited Iran with the goal of enhancing bilateral ties.


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