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Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is paying an official visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday. He is the Israeli prime minister to visit the Gulf monarchy, a year after relations between the two countries normalized.
For the first time, an Israeli minister drove on Tuesday, June 29, the soil of the United Arab Emirates on an official visit. The head of Israeli diplomacy, Yair Lapid, arrived Tuesday morning in this Gulf monarchy.
The minister is due to inaugurate the Israeli embassy in the Emirates, a first in the Gulf, and meet with senior Emirati officials. He will also travel to Dubai for the official openings of Israel’s consulate and his country’s pavilion at the World Expo (October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022).
The foreign minister posted on Twitter on Tuesday morning a photo of him on a plane, accompanied by the words: “I’m taking off for a historic visit to the Emirates”.
“The Israeli delegation will land in Abu Dhabi at the end of the morning and will be received by the Minister of Economic Affairs at the UAE Foreign Ministry,” the Israeli statement said.
“Thirty years of experience as a diplomat, but seeing blue and white (colors of the flag of Israel, editor’s note) here at Abu Dhabi airport, while waiting for the foreign minister to land, it’s is exhilarating! “tweeted Israel’s Ambassador to the Emirates Eitan Na’eh in the morning.
Normalization of relations
Since the normalization of relations between the Emirates and Israel in September 2020, under the leadership of the administration of former US President Donald Trump, the two countries have set up direct airlines, appointed ambassadors and increased visits of commercial delegations.
In March, what was to be the first official visit to the Emirates by an Israeli prime minister, then Benjamin Netanyahu, was finally canceled due to a “dispute” with Jordan over the overflight of its airspace, then indicated the Israeli side.
Benjamin Netanyahu, since replaced as head of government by Naftali Bennett, had already postponed in February a visit to the Emirates and Bahrain, another Gulf emirate that recently normalized relations with the Hebrew state, due to travel restrictions imposed on him. fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Palestinians denounced the normalization agreements, signed by several Arab countries for a year and described as “treason”, the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict having been until then considered as a sine qua non for any normalization.