Israel’s Netanyahu to Visit UAE in First Trip Post-Normalization

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to travel to the United Arab Emirates next week in the first public visit by an Israeli leader to the country, cementing the normalization of ties.

“The prime minister is going to be visiting us very soon,” the UAE’s Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba said at an online panel Monday. “Unfortunately his trip had gotten cut a lot shorter because of the corona situation but he should be coming to see us next week.”

An Israeli official, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said the plan is to have a visit by mid-February. Netanyahu had scheduled trips to the UAE before but they’ve been delayed by political turmoil and the coronavirus pandemic.

Lower-level officials and business leaders have made visits between the countries both before and after the announcement of normalization plans in August.

Under an agreement brokered by the Trump administration, the UAE became the third Arab country to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. The two sides share a desire to combat Iran’s influence in the region, and have touted the potential for cooperation on investments and technological innovation.

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