Lapid: Israel-UAE relations to reach new heights

Dubai, Jun 30 (EFE).- Israel’s new Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Wednesday that relations with the United Arab Emirates will climb to new heights, during a historic visit to the Gulf nation.

In September, Israel signed a series of agreements known as the Abraham Accords, normalizing ties with the UAE and Bahrain following mediation by the United States.

“It’s going to expand and expand, at one point, the vision is it moves from governments to business to people to economy,” said Lapid, who arrived in the UAE for a two-day visit on Tuesday.

However, Israel’s top diplomat acknowledged that “politics puts a burden on everything,” saying they are trying to “push the positive forces in the Middle East to make our region the most successful, the most prosperous.”

Lapid earlier in the day met his Emirati counterpart, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with whom he signed an agreement on economic and trade cooperation.

Both nations are to launch a joint economic committee led by their ministers of economy in order to increase bilateral trade, according to the Emirati news agency WAM.

Lapid also opened a general consulate in Dubai after officially inaugurating the embassy in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

“We are starting to get used to making history. The consulate isn’t symbolic. It’s a place of life, of tourism, of business, of a dialogue between two talented peoples, who can and who want to contribute to one another,” he said during the consulate’s opening.

Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was planning to make a visit to the UAE in March, but it was postponed following a flight route spat with neighboring Jordan.

Both countries have already signed numerous cooperation agreements in various sectors, worth $354 million, and more than 200,000 Israeli tourists have traveled to the UAE. EFE

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