Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will pay a visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next week. This would be the first official visit by an Israeli minister to the Gulf state since the two countries reached an agreement to normalize relations last year.
According to the statement issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Israeli top diplomat will be hosted by his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Taking office under a new government by swearing in front of the parliament last week, Lapid will be attending the inauguration ceremony of the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of Israel in Dubai, the statement added.
The Foreign Ministry statement also noted that “Relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates are important, the fruits of which benefit not only the citizens of the two countries but the entire Middle East.”
Since the two countries agreed to normalize relations, business ties between Israel and the UAE have intensified. As the last sample of these flourished relations, the two countries signed a treaty to prevent double taxation on May 31.
Meanwhile, as a foreign minister, this would be Lapid’s first visit abroad. Yair Lapid is one of the components of the newly-formed coalition government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The coalition government brought an end to the record 12-years-long tenure of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who inked the Abraham Accords with the four Arab countries.
At that time, it was reported that the former prime minister Netanyahu had also intended to visit the UAE before March 23 election several times. However, he had to cancel his trip due to last-minute hitches every time.