Israel’s Foreign Ministry Twitter account “Israel in the Gulf” in Arabic congratulated the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday in the lead-up to the launch of a space probe to Mars, as part of the country’s “Hope Mars Mission.”
With the upcoming launch of this probe in mid-July from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre, the UAE will become the first Arab country to send a mission to study the Red Planet.
Some 150 Emirati engineers, researchers and scientists have been working on the Emirates Mars Mission since the project was inaugurated in 2014, and is slated to arrive in Mars’ orbit by 2021, where it will study the atmosphere and what caused the planet to die.
The message on social media stated that Israel wished the UAE “the best of luck on the launch of this scientific mission, and hope that this step will contribute towards deeper cooperation between all countries in the region.”
Over the last 60 years, only six countries have sent missions to the Red Planet.
Israel and the UAE do not have formal diplomatic relations.
However, Israel’s ties with several Arab countries have significantly advanced in recent years, openly and covertly, as shared strategic interests, and primarily confronting Iran’s belligerent advent in the region, have brought both sides to the same table.