Israel's Netanyahu set for first official visit to UAE

Israel's Netanyahu set for first official visit to UAE
Following a number of Covid-19 related delays, Netanyahu will visit the UAE next week and meet with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
2 min read
02 February, 2021
Netanyahu's trip to the UAE has been delayed a number of times. [Getty]
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the UAE next Tuesday and meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, a senior diplomat has confirmed. 

It will be the Israeli leader's first trip to Abu Dhabi since a normalisation agreement was signed by the two countries

The trip was scheduled to last three days, but Covid-19 restrictions have meant that Netanyahu's visit to Abu Dhabi will be limited to just a few hours. 

The UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba, confirmed the trip during an online panel discussion on Monday. 

"The prime minister is going to be visiting us very soon… Unfortunately, his trip had gotten cut a lot shorter because of the corona situation but he should be coming to see us next week," he said.

Previous trips to the UAE and Bahraini capitals have been hampered by the spread of the coronavirus.

No announcement has been made regarding a future visit to Bahrain, which has also signed a normalisation agreement with Israel.

Israeli officially opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi at the end of January, on the same day that the UAE approved the opening of its embassy in Tel Aviv.

Read more: Where does Gulf reconciliation leave the UAE?

Since the normalisation agreements, a number of low-level officials and business leaders have travelled between the two countries, but next Tuesday's visit will be the highest level meeting to date. 

The issue of Iran is expected to be high on the agenda, with both countries perceiving it to be a threat to regional security. 

In addition to the UAE and Bahrain, Israel also signed normalisation agreements with Morocco and Sudan. 

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