Israeli PM meets crown prince in UAE, Iran on agenda

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed at his private palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 13, 2021. —
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed at his personal palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 13, 2021. — 
  • Floor -breaking assembly between Israeli and UAE leaders.
  • Iran frequent trigger for concern.
  • Rapprochement upsets Palestinians.

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan hosted Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday within the first ever public assembly between the United Arab Emirates’ de facto ruler and an Israeli chief.

Israel’s ambassador to Abu Dhabi mentioned the problem of Iran was on the agenda for his or her talks, which comply with the formalisation of Israel-UAE relations final 12 months below a US-led regional initiative.

Whereas shared concern about Iranian exercise was amongst causes for the diplomatic strikes, the UAE has additionally been attempting to enhance relations with Tehran.

Releasing pictures of Bennett and Sheikh Mohammed smiling and shaking arms, the Israeli chief’s workplace described the assembly as “historic”.

An announcement on state information company WAM mentioned Sheikh Mohammed voiced hope for “stability within the Center East” and that Bennet’s go to would “advance the connection of cooperation in direction of extra optimistic steps within the pursuits of the folks of the 2 nations and of the area”.

The Palestinians, whose diplomacy with Israel has been stalled since 2014, have deplored the Israeli-Emirati rapprochement.

Israeli Ambassador Amir Hayek declined to elaborate on any dialogue of Iran however he advised Israel’s Military Radio: “The prime minister didn’t solely come right here solely to deal with the Iranian challenge.”

With world powers now attempting to resume the Iran nuclear deal, Abu Dhabi final week despatched an envoy to Tehran. A US delegation is due within the UAE this week to warn Emirati banks in opposition to non-compliance with sanctions on Iran.

Iran is Israel’s arch-foe, but it surely has not been talked about publicly by Bennett since he set off on Sunday to the UAE with pledges to advertise bilateral commerce and different types of civilian cooperation.

The Israel Hayom newspaper, quoting unnamed officers, mentioned Bennett was anticipated to transient Sheikh Mohammed on intelligence relating to Iranian-supplied militias and drones within the area.

Israel final month broached organising joint defences in opposition to Iran with Gulf Arab states. Hayek mentioned army gross sales to UAE are within the works, although Israeli trade sources say superior Israeli air defence methods have but to be provided.

“Israel is in cooperation with a brand new pal, with a associate for the long-term, and the concerns shall be each concerns of defence and in addition concerns of how you’re employed with a rustic which could be very, very, very pleasant to Israel,” Hayek mentioned.

Israel-UAE bilateral commerce in items alone reached practically $500 million up to now in 2021 — up from $125 million in 2020 — and is anticipated to proceed rising quickly.