Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)
President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog at Ben Gurion International, before departing for the UAE, January 30, 2022.

President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog departed Sunday morning to the United Arab Emirates for a presidential visit at the invitation of the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The President will visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai and conduct official meetings with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Vice President, Prime Minister, and Minister of Defence of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Commissioner-General of Expo 2020 Dubai and UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan; and representatives of the business sector and Jewish community.

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The presidential visit follows several attacks on the UAE by the Houthis, an Iranian proxy militia. They also coincide with reported “progress” in US talks with Iran in Vienna, talks that will possibly affect Iran’s neighbor the UAE even worse than they would Israel. President Herzog’s mission is to reassure the UAE of Israel’s support, including with military equipment; and to press the Gulf state not to give up on the Abrahamic Accords despite the Iranian menace.

Before taking off, President Herzog said: “Good morning. This morning I am embarking on a historic trip to the United Arab Emirates together with my wife, Michal. We will be visiting the United Arab Emirates following the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

“I am bringing with me a blessing of peace and a message of peace to the entire region, to the people of the region. Peace brings with it prosperity, progress, and growth for the benefit of the people of the region. I will be meeting the leadership of the United Arab Emirates, at the personal invitation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince, and I wish him well and I am grateful for his courage and bold leadership, carving out a peace agreement with Israel and sending a message to the entire region that peace is the only alternative for the peoples of the region. Thank you very much. Shalom. As-Salaamu-Alaikum”

Upon arrival, the President will meet UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.

President Herzog will then be welcomed with an official ceremony at the royal palace, where he will meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

Later, the President and the First Lady will participate in an event with leaders of the Jewish communities of the UAE. Israeli Ambassador in the UAE Amir Hayek will also participate.

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