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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Israel says UAE visit "making history'

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Israel says UAE visit 'making history'
Israel says UAE visit "making history'

In a historic first visit by a Gulf Arab nation, a United Arab Emirates delegation arrived in Israel on Tuesday, accompanied by top U.S. officials, to cement a normalization deal signed last month.

Adam Reed has more.

A group of officials from the United Arab Emirates were given a warm welcome in Tel Aviv on Tuesday (October 20), as they became the first Gulf Arab delegation to visit Israel.

Israeli and U.S. officials have described the meeting as historic - but the Palestinians branded it "shameful." The meeting was to cement the recent normalization deals between Israel and the Gulf states of the UAE and Bahrain - forged largely over shared fears of Iran.

The United States has been key in brokering the deals - that see the first Arab states in a quarter of a century establish formal ties with Israel - despite ongoing differences in the region.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"We are making history in a way that will stand for generations.

This is the first ever official visit from the United Arab Emirates to Israel, this is the first time since the signing of the historic agreement in the White House that the governments of Israel and the UAE will be signing concrete practical agreements of cooperation." Four agreements in total were signed - with pledges covering the protection of investments, cooperation in science, aviation and visa exemptions.

Here's UAE Minister Obaid Humaid Al-Tayer.

"We are committed to support legal framework for the movement of the people and goods and fostering a continuous business-friendly environment between the UAE and the State of Israel." Washington and its allies have said the deals would help the peace process, but its prompted anger from the Palestinians.

In Gaza, a spokesman for the Islamist group Hamas said the visit will only encourage the occupation and gradual annexation of the disputed West Bank.

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