With 13 days until the election, Netanyahu is surely eager to boost his diplomatic accomplishments
Nicole Jansezian | March 10, 2021
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates tomorrow, sources tell ALL ISRAEL NEWS. This is his first visit since the signing of the Abraham Accords, a U.S.-brokered agreement that normalized relations between the two nations in September, and the first official state visit of any Israeli leader to the UAE. Sources tell us it will be a quick in-and-out visit and that no Israeli reporters will accompany the prime minister. After canceling scheduled trips to the Emirates three previous times it looks like this one will happen, especially with 12 days to go to a tight election where every vote counts.
“Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu takes his election campaign to the UAE,” was the headline in Axios. Netanyahu will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan while there, according to various reports, and will spend several hours in Abu Dhabi. It was unclear whether he would also go to Bahrain, another new Gulf state ally for the Jewish state. The Jerusalem Post reported that a well-connected source in Abu Dhabi told them that the election was a consideration, “but the UAE decided to welcome Netanyahu regardless of the date.” “The prime minister is expected to take a private plane to Abu Dhabi and conduct meetings in the airport,” the JPost said.
The last trip to the UAE that Netanyahu canceled was in February. The reason given at the time was that the Israeli government had imposed a “hermetic” seal on air travel into and out of the country, a shutdown aimed at preventing COVID-19 variants from entering the country. The Prime Minister’s Office said the decision also applied to the highest levels of government. Nevertheless, during the six-week airport closure several international diplomatic and sporting delegations were able to come into Israel. With 13 days until the election, Netanyahu is surely eager to boost his diplomatic accomplishments, including peace agreements with four Muslim nations, brokered by Donald Trump’s administration, and increasingly warm relations with Saudi Arabia.
The prime minister reportedly spoke with the crown prince 10 days ago. According to Axios, Mossad director Yossi Cohen pressed the Emiratis to host Netanyahu, but the UAE signaled that they didn’t want to be seen as interfering in foreign elections.