Abraham Accords opened 'promising' prospects for UAE and Israel, Sheikh Abdullah says

UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Israel to marks the second anniversary of the historic agreement

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The historic signing of the Abraham Accords presented "promising prospects" for building ties between the UAE and Israel, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, said on Thursday.

The remarks came as Sheikh Abdullah visited Israel to mark the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords that were signed in Washington.

Sheikh Abdullah met Israel's President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Yair Lapid during Thursday's trip.

During their meeting, Mr Herzog received an official invitation from President Sheikh Mohamed to attend the Abu Dhabi Space Dialogue, which will be organised by the Emirates Space Agency in the capital Abu Dhabi in December this year.

Sheikh Abdullah also stressed the keenness of the Emirates "to achieve peace, stability and development in the Middle East for the good and prosperity of its people," state news agency Wam reported.

Sheikh Abdullah praised the steady growth and development in the Emirati-Israeli relations.

The two officials "discussed their partnership's prospects and the opportunities available to enhance their ties in several areas, including economic, investment, food security and others to achieve the common interests of the two countries and their peoples," a statement said.

They also discussed efforts to consolidate peace and stability.

Since September 2020, ties between the UAE and Israel have grown in various fields, including, security, economy and social sectors.

Mr Herzog said his country was "delighted" to welcome Sheikh Abdullah.

"Today we welcome with open arms the Foreign Minister of the UAE, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed. We are delighted to celebrate His Highness's visit to Israel, two years after the signing of the historic Abraham Accords," Mr Herzog wrote on Twitter.

"The Abraham Accords are a joyous celebration of a paradigm shift in the Middle East, of new voices, of a new horizon for our children, of the potential for change," Mr Herzog said.

"Our bold friendship shows the world that another, better, more humane world is possible. As-salamu alaykum!" he said.

Later in the day, Sheikh Abdullah held a press conference with his Mr Lapid.

"Our relations have been people to people, I look at the number of flights between our countries, the economic trade that has escalated, we have established with Israel the fastest free trade agreement," Sheikh Abdullah said.

He pointed out that about half a million Israelis visited the UAE during the past two years, adding that there were about seven to eight flights per day between the two countries.

Mr Lapid said the strategic relationship between the UAE and Israel will continue in the fields of economy, food security, energy, water and security.

"We will exert all efforts in the economic field, we will stand with your country in countering terrorism," he said.

"Together we will change the face of the Middle East by moving it from war to peace, from terrorism to economic co-operation, and from talk of violence and extremism to a tolerant dialogue."

Taking to Twitter to welcome Sheikh Abdullah, Mr Lapid described his visit as "another milestone" in the relations between the two sides.

The UAE and Bahrain became the first two Arab states to normalise relations with Israel through the establishment of the accords.

The agreements paved the way for ties between the UAE, Bahrain and Israel in all state sectors.

In February last year, the UAE appointed its first ambassador to Israel.

Mohammed Al Khaja was sworn in by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, at a ceremony at Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi.

Updated: September 16, 2022, 7:07 AM