Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made the first official visit by an Israeli leader to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday. It was another major milestone in the Abraham Accords, a process of normalization between Israel and several leading Arab states that just a decade ago seemed a fantasy.
Upon arrival in Abu Dhabi, Bennett was greeted by Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and a full honor guard. Local UAE media seemed as thrilled by the visit as those of us in Israel.
— WAM English (@WAMNEWS_ENG) December 12, 2021
On Monday, Bennett met with UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the de facto ruler of the Emirates and one of the driving forces behind the Accords, alongside former US President Donald Trump and Bennett’s predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Bennett and his hosts gushed over the rapidly warming relations between Israel and the UAE, which has already seen a significant amount of two-way tourism, despite Corona travel restrictions, and even more investments and new business relationships.
While the Abraham Accords are well over a year old by now, and a number of other nations have already joined, it is still somewhat shocking to see a kippa-wearing leader of the Jewish state being so embraced by the rulers of a major Arab state.