In UAE, Israeli Prime Minister Bennet meets Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi

JERUSALEM (AP) – The Prime Minister of Israel met the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi on Monday as part of the first official visit to the United Arab Emirates by an Israeli leader since the establishment of official relations between the two countries in the year last.

Naftali Bennett’s trip this week to the Arab Gulf Federation comes against the backdrop of nuclear talks between world powers and regional rival Iran over its nuclear program. Israel has observed with concern that Iran has taken a hard line against negotiators meeting in Vienna, demanding both sanctions relief while speeding up its nuclear program.

Bennett’s office said the prime minister met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the powerful crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of the Emirates, on Monday.

Last year, Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed an agreement to normalize relations brokered by the Trump administration as part of the “Abraham Accords,” a series of diplomatic agreements with Arab countries that also included Bahrain. , Sudan and Morocco.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have long shared concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, while Israel says it will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

Bennett took office as prime minister six months ago leading a coalition of eight parties united in their opposition to longtime former leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister, who arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday as part of his regional diplomacy blitz, said after the landing that he was looking forward to strengthening diplomatic ties between the countries.

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