New Israeli FM to embark on 1st UAE visit

New Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from June 29-30, which will mark the first official visit by a senior Israeli official to the Gulf country, his office said in a statement.

During his trip, Lapid will inaugurate the Israeli Embassy in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi and the Consulate in Dubai, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying on Monday.

“The fruits of ties between Israel and the UAE will be enjoyed not only by the citizens of the two countries but also by the entire Middle East,” it said.

Earlier on Monday, Lapid met the Ambassador of the UAE to Israel, Muhammad Al Khaja.

“Next week, I will pay a first official visit to the UAE in order to strengthen the relations between our two countries and peoples,” he added in a tweet following the meeting.

Lapid, the centrist leader of the Yesh Atid party, was the driving force behind the forming of Israel’s new cross-partisan coalition government which was approved by Parliament on June 14.

Israel and the UAE signed a US-brokered normalisation agreement in September 2020.

The UAE thus became the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan to agree to formally normalise its ties with Israel.