Middle East/North Africa

Israel to send first minister to UAE since normalization of relations


Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid will soon travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), marking the first time an Israeli minister has visited the country since relations between the two were normalized last year.

The Times of Israel reports that it is currently unclear whether Lapid will be meeting with the UAE’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

News of this trip comes about one week after the new Israeli government, made in partnership with Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid Party and current Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s right-wing Yamina party, was sworn in. Along with being Israel’s foreign minister, Lapid is also currently the alternate prime minister of Israel, and is set to become prime minister in 2023.

Former President Trump announced last August that Israel and the UAE would establish formal ties, touting the development as a major diplomatic accomplishment for his administration. Along with the UAE, Bahrain also established formal ties with Israel, with Trump presiding over a historic signing ceremony in September.

The move by the UAE to establish ties with Israel was seen by some as an abandonment of the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict as most other Arab states had agreed to not recognize Israel until a solution had been negotiated and a sovereign Palestinian state was established.

In November, the first flight carrying Israeli tourists to the UAE landed in Dubai. The flight, arranged by the UAE government-owned FlyDubai airline, was heralded as cementing the normalization between the two Middle Eastern countries.

Tags Donald Trump Israel Naftali Bennett Politics of Israel United Arab Emirates Yair Lapid

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