bon voyage

Herzog to make first Israeli presidential visit to the UAE

The president will meet with Emirati leaders and open Israel’s national day at Dubai Expo

Justin Tallis-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Israeli President Isaac Herzog meets with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (not pictured) inside Number 10 Downing Street on November 23, 2021 in London, England.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog is set to make the country’s first ever presidential visit to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, his office announced on Tuesday.

The president, together with First Lady Michal Herzog, will visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai at the invitation of UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with whom he will meet in addition to Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed; Vice President, Prime Minister, Defense Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; and representatives of the Jewish community.

During the two-day trip, Herzog will also open Israel’s national day celebrations at Dubai Expo 2020 on Monday, which will include an official ceremony at the Al Wasl Dome, located at the heart of the Expo, and a public event at the Israeli pavilion. 

“We have the privilege of making history by making the first visit of an Israeli president to the United Arab Emirates,” Herzog said on Tuesday. “This important visit comes as the Israeli and Emirati nations are busy laying the foundations of a new shared future.” 

“I believe that our bold new partnership will transform the Middle East and inspire the whole region,” he added. “We are a peace-loving nation, and together we will expand the historic circle of peace of the Abraham Accords and create a better, more tolerant, and safer world for our children. I thank Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for this gracious invitation to deepen our nations’ bonds of friendship.”

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made the first official visit of an Israeli premier to the Gulf nation.

The historic visits of both leaders come over a year after the UAE established formal diplomatic ties with Israel. Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco all formalized ties with Israel in 2020.

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