Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is planning to travel to the United Arab Emirates in what would be the first visit by an Israeli minister to the country since the signing of the Abraham Accords normalization agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, The Times of Israel reported on Sunday.
It would also be Lapid’s first foreign trip since becoming foreign minister in the new Israeli government.
Sources said that the Israeli foreign minister would meet with his UAE counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed, although Lapid’s office declined to comment on the matter, according to The Times of Israel, citing reports by Walla.
However, the two ministers have already spoken, and the UAE and Bahrain issued statements welcoming the new Israeli government.
After the conversation with bin Zayed, Lapid wrote on Twitter that he looks “forward to working with him to build on the warm and unique relations between our two countries for the benefit of our peoples and the entire Middle East.”
During Lapid’s first visit to the Foreign Ministry after the new Israeli government was set up, he stressed that one of his diplomatic priorities was to build on the Abraham Accords, which were orchestrated by the previous administration of Benjamin Netanyahu and also included Israel signing agreements with Morocco and Sudan, according to The Times of Israel.
“Part of our work will of course be to strengthen our presence in the region,” Lapid said “Great things have happened this past year. We need to continue the development that started with the Abraham Accords. To work to strengthen the peace with the Gulf States, with Egypt and with Jordan.”
He added that “We will work to sign agreements with more countries in the region and beyond. It’s a process, it won’t happen in a day, but the Foreign Ministry will coordinate those efforts.”
In November, the first flight of Israeli tourists to the UAE took place, an event that was cited as an important cementing of the normalization between the two countries, The Hill reported.
There have also been reports that discussion are taking place among Israel, the U.S., the UAE and Bahrain to have a ceremony in September in order to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, The Times of Israel reported.
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