Israel to Participate in 2020 Dubai Expo as Ties With Gulf Warm

(Bloomberg) -- Israel said Thursday it will take part in next year’s World Expo in Dubai, a further sign of improving ties with Persian Gulf states that once shunned contact with it.

“We look forward to sharing our innovative spirit and the advances our entrepreneurs and innovators are making in the various fields such as water, information and medical technologies,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

In a statement on the Expo’s official website, organizers noted they had invited “all countries” to take part, and that 192 had accepted. It didn’t mention Israel by name.

Most Arab countries have resisted ties with Israel while its conflict with the Palestinians remains unresolved. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to leverage a shared fear of Iran to gradually improve relations with the Gulf.

He made a surprise visit to Oman in October to meet with the country’s foreign minister, and several Israeli minsters have since appeared at international conferences in the region, including in Dubai.

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