UAE ambassador hosts Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Blinken and Lapid in Washington

The intimate affair hosted by Yousef Al Otaiba included nine guests and featured an exquisite meal topped with halawet el jibn

UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, centre, and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid before their dinner on Wednesday night. Photo: AP
Powered by automated translation

In the spirit of the Abraham Accords, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UAE and Israeli ministers Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Yair Lapid gathered for dinner at the residence of the Emirates’ ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, on Wednesday night.

The dinner that followed back-to-back meetings between the US, UAE and Israel was a diplomatic gesture, coinciding with the first anniversary of the accords that normalised relations between the UAE and Israel.

A tweet from UAE embassy in the US featured a photo of Mr Blinken with Sheikh Abdullah, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and his equivalent Mr Lapid in casual attire, having a chat.

“Governments make agreements. People make peace. Diplomats at dinner. Happy to host friends,” said the tweet from Mr Al Otaiba, who is also a Minister of State.

Sources told The National that the dinner was intimate, with only nine people in attendance.

Others invited from the US were the State Department Counsellor Derek Chollet, and acting assistant secretary of state at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Yael Lempert.

Israeli guests included adviser Yair Zivan and director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alon Ushpiz.

The UAE’s ambassador to Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, also attended.

A copy of the menu obtained by The National showed an exquisite mix of flavours.

For the appetiser, spicy tuna tartare in a sesame miso cone and butter-poached lobster with beluga caviar was served.

The main dish featured a choice between Japanese A5 Wagyu beef or a salt-baked Branzino white fish, with burgundy truffle pizza, russet potato gratin, roasted fall squash, sweet peppers and Swiss chard.

The dessert was a chocolate mille crepe and halawet el jibn, a Syrian gourmet delicacy made of semolina and cheese rolls and topped with rose or orange-scented syrup.

The dinner concluded a two-day visit by Sheikh Abdullah to Washington and the first trilateral meeting for the US, UAE and Israel hosted by Mr Blinken, on Wednesday at the State Department.

Updated: October 15, 2021, 1:58 AM