Update: January 30, 2022 10:47 p.m. STI
Tel Aviv [Israel]January 30 (ANI/Sputnik): Israeli President Isaac Herzog and his wife Michal Herzog flew to the United Arab Emirates for the first-ever state visit, during which they will meet the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and will meet with representatives of political and business circles, the office of the Israeli president announced on Sunday.
“In a historic first, President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog left for the United Arab Emirates this morning for a presidential visit at the invitation of the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. Al Nahyan,” the office said in a statement.
Upon their arrival in the United Arab Emirates, the Israeli president and his wife are due to meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Then, the couple will be received in an official ceremony at the royal palace. Later, the President and First Lady of Israel will meet with leaders of Jewish communities living in the country. The program of the two-day visit also includes a meeting with businessmen and politicians from the United Arab Emirates. Herzog is also set to open Israel’s National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“We will be visiting the UAE following the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE. I bring with me a blessing of peace and a message of peace to the entire region, to the peoples of the region. Peace brings with it is prosperity, progress and growth for the benefit of the peoples of the region,” Herzog said before leaving Tel Aviv, as quoted by his office.
Additionally, Herzog thanked the UAE Crown Prince for the invitation and for his courage in reaching a peace deal with Israel. Herzog stressed that the agreement sends “a message to the whole region that peace is the only alternative for the peoples of the region”.
The UAE has been criticized in many parts of the Arab world for agreeing to the Abraham Peace Accords – a US-brokered effort to normalize relations with Israel. The agreements were signed by Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on September 15, 2020 with the mediation of then US President Donald Trump. According to the agreements, the participating countries resumed the operations of embassies, opened direct flights and lifted the ban on tourist travel and official visits. Morocco and Sudan subsequently joined the agreements. Palestinian authorities have criticized steps taken by Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel at the expense of promoting Palestinian rights. (ANI/Sputnik)