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Israeli president to make first state visit to UAE

Israeli President Isaac Herzog will head to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday in the first-ever visit by an Israeli head of state to the Gulf country.

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Israeli President Isaac Herzog will head to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday in the first-ever visit by an Israeli head of state to the Gulf country.

“We have the privilege of making history by making the first visit of an Israeli president to the United Arab Emirates,” Herzog said in a statement. He will be accompanied by First Lady Michal Herzog.

During the two-day visit, Herzog will meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the UAE’s de facto ruler.

He will also meet Dubai ruler and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, other senior officials and representatives of the Jewish community. He is scheduled to open Israel’s national day at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The visit comes less than two months after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited the UAE.

The two countries signed a US-brokered deal to establish official ties in September 2020.

Israel and the UAE expect bilateral economic benefits, but the rapprochement is also seen as an alliance against Iran and its nuclear programme.

Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan signed similar deals with Israel. Previously, only two Arab states, neighbouring Egypt and Jordan, had maintained diplomatic relations with Israel.

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