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Israeli leader Bennett to meet Emirate Crown Prince bin Zayed

By Adam Schrader
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Israeli leader Bennett to meet Emirate Crown Prince bin Zayed
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett left Israel on Sunday to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. File Photo by Ohad Zwigenberg/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Naftali Bennett left Israel on Sunday to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, a historic trip marking the first official visit from an Israeli prime minister to the United Arab Emirates.

The trip comes amid the strengthening of ties between the two countries after former President Donald Trump's administration brokered the so-called Abraham Accords between the administration of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and nearby Arab countries.

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Mohammed bin Zayed, known as MBZ, will meet with Bennett to discuss "deepening the ties between Israel and the UAE, especially the economic and regional issues that will contribute to prosperity, welfare and strengthening the stability between the two countries," according to a press release.

The three other Arab countries that have signed onto the initiative for better ties with Israel are Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

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The Emirate government has not yet addressed the meeting with Bennett.

Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited the UAE last June for the inauguration of Israel's embassy in Abu Dhabi, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted.

"Israel wants peace with its neighbors - with all its neighbors. We aren't going anywhere. The Middle East is our home," Lapid said in a speech at the time.

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Netanyahu had previously scheduled a number of trips to the UAE but had canceled them due to complications amid the country's relations with neighboring Jordan and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Arab Emirates inaugurated its first embassy in Israel in July -- just two weeks after Israel opened its embassy.

Earlier this month, Bennett posted a message on Twitter praising the UAE for its National Day,the 50th anniversary marking the federal unification of six of the emirates as one nation.

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"Happy #UAENationalDay50 to the leadership & people of the United Arab Emirates. May the next 50 years bring further cooperation & prosperity between our countries," Bennett tweeted.

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