Israel says it will support UAE’s security needs

Isaac Herzog. Editorial credit: Alexandros Michailidis

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has said his country will support the UAE’s security needs during his first official visit to the Gulf nation.

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

The UAE has in the past fortnight been attacked twice with drones and missiles by Yemen’s Houthis. 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.”

Herzog landed in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday amid growing regional tension.

This comes more than a month after Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, visited the UAE after normalising ties as part of the so-called “Abraham Accords” brokered by the U.S. in 2020.

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Other Arab countries that normalised ties with Israel as part of the deal include Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

Before the meeting with Sheikh Mohammed, Herzog said: “I will be meeting the leadership of the United Arab Emirates, at the personal invitation of Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed, the Crown Prince. I wish him well and I am grateful for his courage and bold leadership, carving out a peace agreement with Israel and sending a message to the entire region that peace is the only alternative for the people of the region… The Abraham Accords should be continued and more nations should join us.”

Reuters reported: “The heads of the Manufacturers Association of Israel and of the Israel Export Institute, travelling 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.”

Palestinian group Hamas, which opposes the normalisation of ties with Israel, said that the visits like these “encourage the occupation to continue escalating its aggression against our Palestinian people and denial of their rights.”

On way to UAE, Herzog’s plane flew over Saudi Arabia which the Israeli President described as “a very moving moment.” Currently, Saudi Arabia doesn’t have any diplomatic relations with Israel but Herzog said he is hopeful that Riyadh will soon follow the other Arab countries.

UPDATE: In response to a complaint by CAMERA UK we have removed a description of Hamas as a “resistance group” given that the British government last year proscribed Hamas in its entirety.

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