Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates met for four hours on the first official visit by an Israeli leader to the Gulf state.
Naftali Bennett, the Israeli prime minister, spent four hours with the de facto Emirati leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed — two hours longer than planned. They met in Abu Dhabi amid renewed tensions between the United States and Israel, which opposes revived efforts by Washington to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.
“I’m flying back to Israel, very optimistic that this relationship can set an example of how we can make peace here in the Middle East,” Mr. Bennett said in a video released shortly before his departure to Israel.
Ostracized for years by all but two Arab countries, Israel began to establish formal relationships with four others, including the United Arab Emirates, in August 2020. Mr. Bennett’s visit was a testament to both the speed at which Israel has consolidated some of those relationships in the 15 months since, and the primacy of concerns about Iran for some Arab leaders, even above their longstanding demands for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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