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Abdullah visit cements Arab ties with Israel

 The UAE Foreign Minister told Herzog that the deal to normalise diplomatic ties between the two countries in 2020 was “historic”…reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Lapid met Sheikh Abdullah for a one-on-one meeting, which was followed by an expanded meeting with teams from both sides, according to a statement from Lapid’s office.

The UAE and Bahrain signed US-brokered agreements to normalise their ties with Israel in September 2020. The move was followed later by Sudan and Morocco.

The UAE Foreign Minister arrived in Israel with a delegation that included three other government ministers, Xinhua news agency reported.

  “We are changing the Middle East together. We are moving it from war to peace, from terrorism to economic cooperation, from a mess of violence and fanaticism to a dialogue of tolerance and cultural curiosity,” the Israeli Prime Minister said.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan with with Ayelet Shaked, the Minister of the Interior of Israel

 Israeli President Isaac Herzog hosted Sheikh Abdullah for an official luncheon in the afternoon at the President’s residence in Jerusalem.

 The UAE Foreign Minister told Herzog that the deal to normalise diplomatic ties between the two countries in 2020 was “historic”.

 Sheikh Abdullah also visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

 “We must take a brave step to build a bridge of real peace for future generations,” the UAE Foreign Minister wrote in the guest book.

  The trip is Sheikh Abdullah’s second visit to Israel since the UAE and Israel decided to normalise ties in September 2020.

Official Ceremony

Sheikh Abdullah held an official reception in Tel Aviv, in the presence of President Isaac Herzog of the State of Israel, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords signed between the UAE and Israel.

The ceremony, which was held as part of Sheikh Abdullah’s official visit to Israel, was attended by a number of senior officials from Arab, Gulf and foreign countries, along with officials from a number of international organisations.

In his speech during the ceremony, Sheikh Abdullah said, “Two years ago, on the 15th of September 2020, my country charted a new path for the region. The signing of the Abraham Accords, led to the thriving and dynamic relationship our countries enjoy today.

“We must continue building on this strong foundation to contribute to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.

“The Abraham Accords were based on a simple premise: that diplomacy and communication would promote greater stability, prosperity, and hope. Today, we can say with great confidence that the premise was correct.

“We are building a brighter future together by expanding opportunities for our peoples, and people across the region. The UAE’s founding principles of coexistence, tolerance and inclusiveness form the basis of our vision for a more peaceful and prosperous region.

“Over the last 5 decades, we have become home to more than 200 nationalities, and we have recently welcomed a growing number of Israeli tourists, students and entrepreneurs, reaching about half a million visitors. This has bolstered our people-to-people ties, strengthening the human dimension to our relationship.

“In that spirit, the stability of the region can only be fully realised by finding a solution to the Palestinian issue. This solution must meet the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, including establishing an independent state. The UAE will continue to support all peaceful initiatives that aim to facilitate the fulfillment of these hopes.

“The Abraham Accords are also a gateway to solving global issues that call on us to cooperate: climate change, science and technology, healthcare, food and water insecurity, and much more. And in this regard, it is important to highlight the positive impact the Accords have already had by changing the narrative and developing new frameworks for cooperation and dialogue.

“This has continued beyond the region. Earlier this year, the UAE, Israel, India and the US formed the ‘I2U2’ grouping. This working group is facilitating deeper cooperation in critical areas and building stronger partnerships from the Middle East to Asia and America.

“The centre of all our efforts is a shared commitment to shape a new history for our part of the world. The Middle East is the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; from the region, these great religions spread the light and comfort of faith around the world.

“Today, however, peaceful coexistence is threatened by extremism, hate speech, and violence. These threats must concern all of us, and confronting them will require sustained and joint international effort.

“Next year, in Abu Dhabi, we will celebrate the opening of the Abrahamic Family House, consisting of a mosque, a church, a synagogue and an educational centre. It will epitomise the universal values which motivated the Accords: harmony, coexistence, and understanding, side by side to become an educational centre for every sect and religious group, as well as a religious centre to embody universal values, values that stimulate harmony, coexistence and understanding.

“Yehuda Amichai, one of Israel’s greatest poets wrote, ‘yet the knowledge of peace makes its way from one place to another like children’s games, which are so much alike everywhere you go.’ “Over the past two years, our belief in peace has seen us achieve countless milestones. We have turned plans into concrete action, and developed a thriving relationship to help us accomplish our shared strategic objectives. We will continue this work as we deepen the Accords, and spread their inclusive vision of a regional community for progress.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed concluded by saying, “Mr. President, thank you once again for your warm welcome. We look forward to welcome you and the First Lady to the UAE once again.”

The reception was attended by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth; Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State; Omar Ghobash, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Cultural Affairs and Public Diplomacy; Mohamed Al Khaja, UAE Ambassador to Israel, along with a number of UAE businessmen.

Meeting with Netanyahu

Sheikh Abdullah also met former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed the growing cooperation being achieved between the two countries following their signing of the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement.

This came as the UAE Top Diplomat met with the former Israeli premier as part of his current official visit to the State of Israel.

The two sides also discussed the situation in the Middle East and efforts being made to achieve peace and stability, and exchanged views over the latest regional and international developments.

Sheikh Abdullah underscored the privileged relations between the two countries and the continuous growth their partnership is witnessing at all levels.

He praised the significant efforts made by Netanyahu that have contributed to the signing of the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement in 2020, noting that the two countries provided, over the course of two years, a model to be emulated for constructive and fruitful cooperation at all levels.

For his part, Netanyahu welcomed the visit of Sheikh Abdullah, which coincides with the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accord, between the UAE and the State of Israel.

He said that the UAE-Israel cooperation has witnessed a remarkable development over the past two years in several fields, in a way that supports the efforts made by the two countries to achieve development and prosperity for their peoples.

Sheikh Abdullah with former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The meeting was attended by The meeting was attended by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, Ahmed bin Ali Mohammed Al Sayegh, Minister of State, Omar Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Culture and Public Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mohamed Mahmoud Al Khaja, UAE Ambassador to Israel.

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