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Israel’s strategic affairs minister makes secret trip to UAE

Israel’s strategic affairs minister made a secret trip to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, the first visit by an Israeli minister to the UAE since the establishment of Israel’s new government. 

According to Walla News reporter Barak Ravid, the goal of Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer’s visit was to prepare for a later visit by Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Netanyahu was expected to visit the UAE in the first few weeks after securing his government. 

However, the premier's trip was canceled following Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir's visit on the Temple Mount, which led to international condemnation, including by the UAE.

Netanyahu made known that his first visit abroad as prime minister would be to the UAE. After Netanyahu’s election victory, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed called to congratulate him on his successful formation of the government and to invite him to visit the country. 

Dermer, who was instrumental in the 2020 Abraham Accords during his tenure as Israeli ambassador to the United States, was seen as the perfect choice to help secure Netanyahu’s visit. 

Netanyahu planned to visit the UAE officially several times during his last tenure as prime minister but canceled his trip four times. He did make several secret, unofficial visits there during the lead up to the Abraham Accords. 

The first Israeli minister to conduct an official visit to the UAE was Yair Lapid, then foreign minister under the previous government. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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