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‘We Are Making History’: First UAE Official Delegation Visits Israel as Abraham Accords Blossom

Photo Credit: Screenshot of GPO video via AP
Photo Credit: Screenshot of GPO video via AP

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted a trilateral meeting on Tuesday with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and UAE Financial Affairs Minister Obaid Humaid Al Tayer as the three countries continue to finalize the Abraham Accords.

Netanyahu called it a “glorious day of peace after the Etihad Airways plane carrying the first office UAE delegation to Israel landed in Tel Aviv.

“Today we are making history,” Netanyahu said. “The enthusiasm for this peace agreement among our people is enormous. It’s real, it’s broad, it’s deep, and it reflects the potential that is realized today.”

Israel and the UAE signed agreements on aviation, investments in science and technology, and visa exemptions. They also applauded a new $3 billion joint foundation called the “Abraham Fund” that will help “strengthen economic resiliency” in the Middle East and North Africa.

The meeting is just the latest step in the developing ties between Israel and the Gulf States advancing the Abraham Accords.

The first commercial flight ever from the UAE landed at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on Monday. The UAE tried to deliver coronavirus aid to the Palestinians through the airport earlier this year but it was rejected.

Also, on Monday, Mnuchin attended signings of memoranda of understanding in Abu Dhabi between the UAE and Israeli companies. On Sunday, Mnuchin joined Israeli officials on the first El Al flight ever to land in Bahrain.

Bahrain joined the UAE at the last minute in signing the Abraham Accords in Washington last month.

“Today we build on that historical occasion at the white house last month, taking the next step to implement the declaration in support of peace and the Abraham Accords,” said Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani.

“We do so in conviction that this approach of engagement and cooperation is the most effective, the most sustainable peace, to bring about a genuine and lasting peace,” he continued.

Mnuchin said the economic, cultural, and security opportunities between the three countries “are quite enormous.”

Israel and Bahrain also signed a “Joint Communique on Establishing Peaceful and Diplomatic Relations” on Sunday.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attended the ceremony and said they were in the land of Abraham, where his sons Isaac and Ishmael had reconciled 3,500 years ago.

“Today we’re grateful to bring the Bible back to life where the children of Isaac and the children of Ishmael are reconciling once again in this holy land and in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates,” said Friedman. “It’s an historic day among many historic days that President Trump has brought to this region.”

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