Israel’s president Herzog meets UAE crown prince, received by honor guard
January 30, 2022
President Herzog will also be meeting Jewish communities in the UAE, which is the region's commercial and tourism hub.
President Isaac Herzog began a two-day state visit to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday amid tight security for fear of attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels who have attacked the Gulf states with missiles and drones twice in the past two weeks.
Herzog had initially been scheduled to visit the UAE in January but the visit was postponed due to COVID concerns. The flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi overflew Saudi airspace and while in the air, the president visited the flight deck and looked out over the Saudi landscape, and said, “No doubt, this is truly a very moving moment.”
Herzog and wife Michal were greeted by a military honor guard after landing in Abu Dhabi and the Israeli entourage then traveled to the royal palace where they were welcomed by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Following the official welcoming ceremony, the two leaders held a two-hour working meeting which included the participation aides.
Herzog began by thanking the crown prince for his contribution to the promotion of ties and said:
“The citizens of the State of Israel are so moved and excited to continue and develop the peaceful coexistence and our peace agreement between our two nations, the Emiratis and Israelis.
“This visit is an expression ... of the vision and dream of peace and the spirit of peace, which we bring to the entire region. We are two successful nations who started with very little in our hands, developed our lands into a successful paradise and in many ways set an example to the world of how to lead and develop a nation with a vision of the future.”
Herzog emphasized Israel’s complete support for the UAE’s security requirements and condemned in all forms and language any attack on the UAE’s sovereignty by terrorist groups.
“We are here together to find ways and means to bring full security to people who seek peace in our region,” Herzog told the crown prince.
The Emirati leader thanked Israel for its stance regarding the recent attacks on civilian facilities in the UAE, stating that it demonstrates the common view of the UAE and Israel in relation to threats to regional stability and peace, particularly those posed by militias and terrorist forces, as well as shared understanding by the two countries of the importance of taking a firm stance against them.
Noting that Herzog’s visit comes soon after the successful visit of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the crown prince declared: “This confirms that our relations are moving full steam ahead, and that there is a common and strong will to strengthen them for the benefit of our countries and peoples.”
Emphasizing that the region is one of those that has suffered the most from wars and conflicts the crown prince said: “Through peace, we in the UAE, Israel and the wider region, can direct resources and capabilities towards serving our nations and paving the way for a better tomorrow.”
Referencing the Abraham Accords, Al Nahyan described the agreement as “a major historical shift that embodies the approach to peace that the UAE believes in, and it has paved the way towards strengthening our partnerships, particularly in the areas of technology, innovation, health, energy, and others.”
He said the erstwhile partnership “sends a message to the entire region that there is an alternative of peace and living together, and that the sons and daughters of Abraham can reside and dwell together in peaceful coexistence for the benefit of humanity.”
Commenting that 250,000 Israelis have already set foot in the UAE, Herzog said that he was looking forward to his own experience.
Herzog is supposedly no stranger to the UAE, since in September 2020, the Tel Aviv law firm Herzog Fox & Neeman, which was established by his late father, (and where the president, a qualified lawyer, also worked before entering politics), announced that it was opening an office in the UAE.
On Monday, Herzog is scheduled to officially open Israel’s national day at Dubai Expo 2020 and during his remarks the crown prince said: “There is no doubt that your country’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai is one of the results of this peace and it will help deepen our cooperation and partnership and identify mutual opportunities for Israel and the UAE.”
Michal Herzog held meetings with the UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology, Sarah bint Yousef Al Amir, who in October last year signed an agreement to collaborate with Israel on a number of space projects, including a joint launch of the Bereshit 2, space mission to the moon.
She later met with Alyazia bint Saif Al Nahyan, the wife of UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.