Yair Lapid says Expo 2020 Dubai a major platform for Israel

Israel's new foreign minister also opened the country's first consulate in Dubai

Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has visited his country's pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on his first official tour of the UAE.

Mr Lapid was accompanied on the second day of his state visit by Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, at the world fair site.

The most senior Israeli politician to visit the Emirates was hosted by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

He examined his nation's contribution to the eagerly awaited global gathering alongside Elazar Cohen, Israel Pavilion’s Commissioner General.

He also inaugurated Israel's consulate in Dubai, which he stated would be a "centre for co-operation" between the nations.

"What we are inaugurating today is not only a consulate, but a centre for co-operation as well," said Mr Lapid on Twitter as he shared a picture of the opening ceremony.

"This is the place that symbolises our abilities to think and develop together and even change the world together"

Mr Lapid described the Middle East as "home" for Israelis and said his country wanted peaceful relations with its neighbours.

“Israel wants peace with its neighbours, with all its neighbours. We aren’t going anywhere. The Middle East is our home," he said.

"We’re here to stay. We call on all the countries of the region to recognise that and to come and talk to us.”

Mr Cohen told of his pride at welcoming Mr Lapid and Ms Hashimy to the pavilion.

He said Israel's presence at Expo 2020 Dubai would provide it with a valuable platform to share its culture and innovation with the world.

“It is an honour to welcome Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy and our alternate prime minister and foreign minister to Israel’s Pavilion," he said.

"Our presence at Expo 2020 Dubai is a great opportunity for both our countries. During the Expo, the Israeli Pavilion will serve as a platform to establish bilateral co-operation in business, industry, investments, culture and academia.

"For the first time visitors across the Middle East will be exposed to Israel’s culture and heritage, our innovation contributions to global human issues as well as our coexistence society.”

Updated: June 30th 2021, 1:42 PM