Israel president pays historic visit to UAE

It was the first  visit by an Israeli president to the United Arab Emirates.  En route, Isaac Herzog ‘s plane overflew Saudi Arabia, which Israel hopes will be next to sign the Abraham Accords. Hamodia (via Reuters) reports:

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, making his first visit on Sunday to the United Arab Emirates, said his country supports the Gulf state’s security needs and wants more countries in the region to join its new detente with the Arab world.

Herzog discussed security and bilateral relations with the UAE’s de facto ruler Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The UAE has in the past two weeks been attacked twice with drones and missiles, claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group. Israel has responded by offering security and intelligence support to the UAE against further drone attacks.

“We completely support your security requirements … We are here together to find ways and means to bring full security to people who seek peace in our region,” Herzog said during the meeting.

Sheikh Mohammed said Israel and the UAE share a “common view of the threats to regional stability and peace, particularly those posed by militias and terrorist forces.”

En route to the UAE, Herzog’s plane flew over Saudi Arabia, which Herzog said was “a very moving moment.” Riyadh has not yet followed its Gulf neighbors in normalizing ties with Israel, but Israeli officials express hope this will happen.

“The Abraham Accords should be continued and more nations should join us,” Herzog said.

The heads of the Manufacturers Association of Israel and of the Israel Export Institute, traveling with Herzog, discussed a $10 billion fund set up under the Abraham Accords and how the UAE might help Israel find new Middle Eastern and Asian markets, the Association said.

Herzog was later invited for a follow-up personal meeting at the crown prince’s private palace.

“The previously unscheduled meeting was proposed by the Crown Prince at the end of his long and warm meeting with the president this morning,” according to Herzog’s office.

At the end of their meeting, Herzog surprised the crown prince with a special gift: the naming of a pediatric medicine conference at the Schneider Medical Center after the Abraham Accords.

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