Israeli PM Bennett makes surprise visit to UAE

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

Isreali Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made a surprise visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday.

Bennett met Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and is to also meet with new UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Their meeting would be to discuss several regional issues, his office announced.

Sheikh Mohammed succeeded his late half-brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan last month.

“Today, together, we will take to the special bond that has been woven between our countries to the next level for the growth and security of both our peoples,’’ Bennett said before his departure.

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In 2020, the UAE and Bahrain became the first Gulf states to sign an agreement to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

Mohammed bin Zayed also pushed for this rapprochement.

It was primarily directed against Shiite Iran, which the UAE saw as an arch-enemy, though economic interests also played a role.

Until then, only two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, maintained diplomatic relations with Israel.

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