Israel PM arrives in UAE on first of its kind visit


Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) chats with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett after his arrival at the Presidential Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport on December 12, 2021.-AFP
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) chats with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett after his arrival at the Presidential Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport on December 12, 2021.-AFP

ABU DHABI: History was made in the capital city as Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrived on the first official visit of the Jewish state leader in the United Arab Emirates Sunday night.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was received by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed. He was also presented a guard of honour . Talking to UAE foreign minister Prime Minister Bennett said that he appreciated the hospitality and added it was a splendid welcome.

He noted on his Twitter handle that he was very moved to be in the UAE, on the first of its kind visit. He said that he expected to strengthen the network of relations between the two countries.

Both the states established their diplomatic ties last year. The trip announced by Bennett’s office comes with Israel making a renewed diplomatic push against international talks which global powers resumed with its arch foe Iran over the Islamic republic´s nuclear programme.

Bennett will meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan today (Monday) to discuss “deepening the ties between Israel and the UAE, especially economic and regional issues,” the prime minister´s office said.

There was no immediate comment from the UAE on the visit. Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz, earlier, said that he had ordered the Israeli army to prepare for the possibility of a military strike on Iran.

Gantz, who is currently in the US to persuade them to ramp up the pressure on Iran, also informed Washington of this step, a senior defense official said. In a briefing in Florida, Gantz said the nuclear talks have yielded “no progress” and that world powers “understand that the Iranians are playing games.”

Meanwhile, a top Iranian military official warned of a “heavy price” for aggressors, state media said, after a report of U.S. and Israeli plans for possible military drills to prepare for strikes against Iran’s nuclear sites if diplomacy fails.

“Providing conditions for military commanders to test Iranian missiles with real targets will cost the aggressors a heavy price,” Nournews, affiliated with Iran’s top security body, said on Twitter, citing an unnamed military official.



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