Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next week, in the first such trip by a top Israeli diplomat to the Gulf state since the countries agreed to normalize ties late last year.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry announced today that Lapid will visit the UAE from June 29-30 and inaugurate an Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate in Dubai.
“Israel-UAE ties are an important relationship whose fruits are enjoyed not only by the citizens of the two countries but of the entire Middle East,” it said in a statement.
Lapid was the driving force behind a new Israeli government sworn in just over a week ago that ended Benjamin Netanyahu’s record 12-year run as prime minister.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted a message of support after Lapid’s announcement.
“This is an important historic event,” Bennett wrote. “Israeli-Emirates relations are an important part of Israel’s foreign policy and we will work to deepen them.”
Last year’s normalization deals signed by the UAE and Bahrain, followed by Sudan and Morocco, were denounced by Palestinians who claimed the states had abandoned a unified position under which Arab countries would make peace only after a two-state solution, negotiations for which have been deadlocked for years.
Source: Palestine Chronicle