Photo Credit: Haim Zach (GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, Dec. 13, 2021.

History is being made in Abu Dhabi – Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrived on Sunday on the first visit of an Israeli leader in the United Arab Emirates, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a press release.

Bennett arrived at the royal airport in Abu Dhabi, where he was received by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and an honor guard, Israeli and Emirati flags in the background


In his remarks, Bennett said that he appreciated the hospitality and added it was a splendid welcome. He noted that he was very moved to be in the UAE, on the first official visit by an Israeli leader. He said that he expected to strengthen the network of relations between the two countries.

On Monday, the Israeli PM is meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed at his private palace in Abu Dhabi, and will also conduct meetings with UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Transportation Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, and the Mubadala Investment Company Managing Director and Group CEO and member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on a historic state visit to the UAE, Dec. 13, 2021. / Haim Zach (GPO)

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on Monday, Bennett said, “In my opinion, this is what the peace and the new reality this region is witnessing, and we are working together to ensure a better future for our children.”

On the outcomes of the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement between the UAE and Israel, Bennett said, “The relations between the two countries have strengthened in all fields, and I am very satisfied with that, as many cooperation agreements were concluded in the fields of trade, research and development, and cyber security, health, education, aviation and more, and I look forward to the continued development and consolidation of relations.”

Bennett said that the relations that bind the State of Israel with the United Arab Emirates cover every possible field, pointing out that ministries in the two countries work with each other, as well as many companies and businessmen, and delegations from both sides pay reciprocal visits.

He added, “I expect that our relations will remain good, especially in the economic field. In my opinion, cooperation in the field of health and food security will constitute a major part of the mutual cooperation.”

On the volume of trade exchange between the UAE and Israel, the visiting PM said: “The volume of mutual trade has expedited within a few months with limitless future opportunities to develop it. Israel, like the UAE, is a regional hub for trade. Our cooperation provides unprecedented economic opportunities not only for us but for more countries, which is another element for enhancing stability and prosperity in this region.”

On Israel’s pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai, under the slogan “Towards Tomorrow,” Bennett said, “The Israeli pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai embodies an optimistic outlook for tomorrow and a boundless quest to make it better, not only for us, but for our friends and allies all over the world in various fields, and this is a fundamental value of Judaism.”

Bennett concluded: “The message that I wish to deliver to the UAE leaders and Emirati citizens is that mutual partnership and friendship are natural. We are neighbors and cousins. We are the grandchildren of the prophet Abraham. The period since the signing of the Abraham Peace Accords is the best evidence that developing bilateral relations is a precious treasure for us and the entire region.”


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