Israel’s President in the Emirates: “First and foremost, hope for peace”

Status: 01/30/2022 1:47 p.m

Izchak Herzog is the first Israeli head of state to travel to the United Arab Emirates. The visit is about peace in the region, but also about economic relations.

By Björn Blaschke, ARD Studio Cairo

Izchak Herzog is the first Israeli head of state to visit the United Arab Emirates. He was greeted at the airport by Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Sajid. Herzog then met Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Sajid al-Nahjan in the royal palace. He is the de facto ruler of the Emirates.

Bjorn Blaschke
ARD-Studio Kairo

The Israeli President will be accompanied on the two-day trip by his wife Michal. At her side, Herzog said before departure that he was an ambassador of peace. “The importance of this visit goes beyond all the practical things that are discussed in such visits. First and foremost it means hope for peace. Peace brings progress, development and prosperity for all peoples of our region.”

Before departure, Herzog emphasized the importance of the trip for peace in the region.

Image: AFP

More relations with Arab states

The Israel Pavilion at the Dubai Expo is also a destination for Herzog during his trip to the Emirates. Just like the Jewish community. In December, Naftali Bennett became the first Israeli head of government to officially visit the Emirates.

Until last year, Israel maintained diplomatic relations with only two Arab countries: Egypt and Jordan. Then the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements with Israel to establish diplomatic relations. As a result, the Emirates opened an embassy in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv.

Peace, trade and strategic interests

Before his trip to the Emirates, the Israeli head of state announced that he would now like to thank the ruler of Abu Dhabi for these developments: “I would particularly like to thank Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for the hospitality and the personal invitation, and of course I congratulate him and everyone Emirates leaders on their courage and determination to swiftly advance peace between Israel and the Emirates and look to a brighter future for both countries and the wider Middle East.”

Peace may be a motive for rapprochement. Another is economic considerations. Both – Israel and the Emirates – want to expand trade between their countries. They also have strategic interests: they see Iran as a common enemy.

Israel’s President visits the United Arab Emirates

Björn Blaschke, ARD Cairo, 30.1.2022 1:14 p.m

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