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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Naftali Bennett meets with UAE President MBZ on visit to Abu Dhabi

Bennett’s UAE trip seen by some as a swipe at Prime Minister Netanyahu

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Ziad at his palace in Abu Dhabi on Monday. The two discussed ways to continue to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

Bennett held a series of five meetings with senior officials from the UAE Government and Ministry of Economy to continue the vibrancy of bilateral exchanges and cooperation.

Bennett’s trip to Abu Dhabi was seen by some as a swipe at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has never visited the Gulf state. Although the prime minister’s visit was announced months ago, it was canceled due to unrest on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Naftali Bennett, who succeeds Benjamin Netanyahu in 2021, is the first Israeli head of government to be welcomed in the UAE after the Abraham Accords, although the Likud leader has ties to the U.S. Former President Donald Trump was among the architects of these peace deals.

Bennett’s visit to the UAE raised the possibility of his return to the Israeli political scene, which he withdrew ahead of the country’s last parliamentary elections last November.

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According to several observers, the visit comes at a time when relation between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi nervous In recent weeks, especially because of Betzalel Smotrich’s controversial remarks and the violence in the West Bank.

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