Israeli Foreign Minister visits UAE, common interests make progress | Business and Economic News

Yair Lapid will be The first Israeli minister in history He will arrive in the UAE on Tuesday to unveil the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai consulate, when he will officially visit the United Arab Emirates.

Israel’s newly appointed foreign minister will be chaired by his UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The top diplomats of the two countries are expected to discuss a series of bilateral issues during the two-day visit, including economic cooperation, trade and security.

“The inauguration is a symbolic act,” Lior Haiat, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Al Jazeera. “The embassy and consulate have been working for four and a half months.”

Israel Normalization of relations with the UAE and Bahrain In August last year, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Benjamin Netanyahu) came to power, and his 12 years in power ended earlier this month.

Netanyahu referred to these agreements, known as the Abraham Agreements, as personal achievements and conducted an unsuccessful re-election campaign, partly because he believed that he could help Israel and its Arab neighbors while maintaining internal security. Candidates who come to have a better relationship.

Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, a scholar at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic and Security Research, told Al Jazeera that this visit shows that the new Israeli government attaches great importance to its Gulf partners and “turns UAE relations into an Israeli national institutional policy, not a party policy.” .

At the same time, Israel expressed serious reservations about Washington and Tehran’s efforts to revitalize Israel. Iran Nuclear Agreement, And after the Gaza War-this war failed to destroy the fledgling UAE-Israel relationship, nor did it take quiet measures to deepen economic and security relations.

When the Abraham Agreement was signed last year, the flags of the United States, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were projected on the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem [File: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters]


Bilateral relations between Israel and the UAE Facing an early test in May Israel bombed the Gaza Strip for 11 days, killing at least 256 Palestinians, including 66 children, and Hamas launched thousands of rockets into Israel, killing 13 people.

Although the UAE criticized Israel for forcibly expelling Palestinians from the Sheikh Jala neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem and attacked Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, It maintained a more moderate stance on Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

Hayat said that from Israel’s point of view, the conflict proved the durability of normalization. “This has no effect on the relationship between Israel and the Abraham Agreement countries,” he said.

Nevertheless, the anger expressed by the Arab world over Israel’s actions in Gaza is a reminder that the official position of the UAE is far from that of public opinion.

Badr Saif, a non-resident researcher at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center, told Al Jazeera: “When there are no other themes, Jerusalem and Palestine are still the unified themes of the Arabs.

He added: “If the people in every country that normalizes relations do the same, none of this will happen.” “Illegal occupations still exist.”

But the UAE has established itself as an outsider in the region. Analysts said that after decades of careful security cooperation, making its relationship with Israel public has strengthened its pioneering credibility.

Saif said: “It will be easier if we openly carry out economic and security cooperation, and the UAE is capable of doing this.”

In Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip last month destroyed the ruins of buildings. A woman painted a Palestinian flag on the face of a child [File: Said Khatib/AFP]

New offer

Just days after Gaza declared a ceasefire, the two countries signed a tax treaty to promote investment in their respective economies and eliminate double taxation. Hayat described the treaty as “one of the most important agreements” reached so far.

Ofer Sachs, chief executive of Herzog Strategic, an Israeli consulting firm with offices in the UAE, said that the treaty removes major barriers to cross-border investment and is seen by the business community as a positive step.

However, he said that when the “Economic Cooperation Agreement” was signed, the potential for building deeper economic relations was widely promoted. Abraham chords Not yet implemented. “We are trying to show the success story very quickly, but that is not the case,” he told Al Jazeera. “As time goes by, the fruit will arrive.”

He emphasized that UAE businessmen are proceeding cautiously, noting that “they are not in a hurry for success. They want to establish real connections.”

The largest potential transaction so far is the announcement of Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned investment fund, that it intends to acquire a US$1.1 billion stake in Israel’s Eastern Mediterranean Tamar gas field.

But a key part of the Abraham agreement is that the UAE hopes to cooperate with Israeli companies and carry out joint projects, especially in areas where the interests of the two Middle Eastern countries overlap.

Israel Aerospace Industries Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding with the UAE state-owned defense company Edge in March to jointly produce anti-UAV systems.

Over time, fruit will arrive.

Herzog Strategic Chief Executive Officer Ofer Sachs

The agreement was reached at a time when drone warfare became a powerful factor on the entire regional battlefield.

Turkey, which has tense relations with the UAE and Israel, is advocating itself as a niche exporter of military drones and has demonstrated their potential in conflicts from Libya and Syria to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Al-Saif stated that the UAE is paying close attention to the development of drone warfare.

In September 2019, the Yemeni Houthi rebels allied with Iran claimed to be Attack on Saudi Aramco oil facilities This temporarily interrupted oil production and exports.

Since then, Saudi Arabia, a close ally of the UAE Become a target Several drone attacks claimed by the Houthi rebels.

“If what happens to the Saudis happens to the UAE, they will never be able to sustain their tourism or events like the Dubai World Expo,” Saif said.

Continuing relationship

One of the rewards of Abu Dhabi’s normalization is its new ability to purchase F-35 fighter jets from the United States. After the Abraham Agreement, Israel cancelled its opposition to the purchase of weapons.

Although defense deals between the two countries can now be announced publicly, the UAE and Israel’s continued relationship based on the industry decades ago is an open secret. But Sachs did not see any significant movement of the pointer.

“Maybe small and medium-sized companies that could not enter the market before will have opportunities, but I think the Abraham Agreement will not have that much impact on the defense industry,” he said.

In September 2019, Houthi rebels allied with Iran in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities, which temporarily interrupted oil production and exports [File: Amr Nabil/AP]


Security may still be the top priority of Rapide’s agenda.

His visit to the UAE this week coincided with the ongoing efforts of the administration of US President Joe Biden to revitalize the UAE. Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015.

After Netanyahu wooed former U.S. President Donald Trump, Rapide expressed his desire to repair the tension between his country and the U.S. Democratic Party.

On Sunday, he met with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken in Rome and promised that any Israeli opposition to the new Iran agreement would be privately raised to Washington.

Israel and the UAE both opposed the signing of the JCPOA and supported the Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the agreement in 2018. This alliance played a key role in advancing the Abraham Agreement.

Although it may not be in public view, Yanarokak stated that Israel will seek to cooperate with its new Gulf partner to jointly lobby the United States on Iran’s missile program concerns and support for regional agents.

He said: “Israel needs to consolidate the Abraham agreement camp in order to put pressure on the US government and use its influence on the terms of a possible agreement with Iran.”

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