Israeli PM Naftali Bennnet, UAE Crown Prince Meet in Abu Dhabi
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (left) sits down with UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the prince's palace in Abu Dhabi on December 13, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Israeli PM Naftali Bennnet, UAE Crown Prince Meet in Abu Dhabi

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met on Monday with United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at his palace in Abu Dhabi, in the first official visit by an Israeli prime minister to the UAE.

“The message that I wish to deliver to the UAE leaders and Emirati citizens is that mutual partnership and friendship are natural,” Bennett told UAE state media WAM prior to the meeting. “We are neighbors and cousins. We are the grandchildren of the Prophet Abraham. The period that has passed since the signing of the Abraham Agreements proves this, and the deepening of relations between us every day is a great asset to our two countries and our two peoples, and also to the entire region. ”

Bennett and the crown prince held a meeting that included their advisers and then ate lunch in the crown prince’s home. They then held an over one-and-a-half hour, one-on-one meeting. The meeting reportedly emphasized economic and regional issues, though the two leaders also were expected to discuss the threat from Iran.

On Sunday afternoon, Bennett arrived in Abu Dhabi hours after the trip was announced by his office and was met at the airport by Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who is the crown prince’s brother, and an honor guard.

Israel and the UAE normalized relations in September 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords. Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who signed the accords, planned several trips to the UAE but was forced to cancel them and never visited the UAE as prime minister.

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