Rivlin, Lapid Depart for Crucial Diplomatic Missions
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Sunday flew to Rome to meet with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, the first such meeting between an Israeli government official and Gulf minister since the signing of the Abraham Accords in September. On Tuesday, Lapid will become the first Israeli government member to officially travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he will be hosted by his counterpart Abdullah Bin Zayed, and later inaugurate the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General in Dubai. Coinciding with Lapid’s sit-down with Blinken, outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, set to be replaced by President-elect Isaac Herzog in two weeks, will take off to Washington on Sunday for his meeting with President Joe Biden. Both get togethers are expected to revolve around the ongoing indirect negotiations between the US and Iran over a mutual return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. Israel is hoping to influence the final agreement and obtain some security assurances.