Egyptian President, Israeli Prime Minister, UAE Crown Prince Hold Tripartite Meeting
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meet in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, March 22, 2022. (Egyptian Presidential Spokesman)

Egyptian President, Israeli Prime Minister, UAE Crown Prince Hold Tripartite Meeting

Israelis were surprised to hear on Monday that their prime minister, Naftali Bennett, had suddenly traveled to Sharm El Sheikh, in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, for a previously unannounced meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. But the drama was only beginning.

A few hours later, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, showed up in town, for what was blandly described in the Emirati press as “a fraternal visit to Egypt.” The crown prince and the Egyptian president, it was reported, would meet to review “issues of interest, and the latest developments on the regional and international scene” and to affirm “the importance of strengthening Arab solidarity in the face of common challenges.” Only later did the UAE admit the obvious: The “common challenges” to be faced were broader than issues of Egyptian-Emirati bilateral concern and required more than just “Arab solidarity”; the meeting would include Israel’s prime minister.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office was similarly vague, saying only that the leaders “discussed the ties between the three countries and ways to strengthen them on all levels.”

Bassam Radi, a spokesman for the Egyptian presidency, said the discussions centered on “energy, market stability, and food security.”

One indication that the conversation may not have been so limited: The Emirati crown prince was accompanied by a large retinue, including Deputy Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Mayor of Abu Dhabi’s Western Region Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, and Undersecretary of the Court of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei.

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