Israeli President Isaac Herzog heads to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday for the first-ever visit by an Israeli head of state to the Gulf state.
“We are privileged to make history with an Israeli president’s first visit to the United Arab Emirates,” President Herzog said in a statement. His wife will accompany him on the journey.
During his two-day visit, the president will meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the de facto leader of the UAE. He will also meet Dubai Prime Minister Rashid Al Maktoum and other officials and representatives of the Jewish community. He will also open Israel Day at the Dubai World’s Fair.
The visit comes less than two months after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited the United Arab Emirates.
In September 2020, Israel and the UAE signed a United States-made agreement to establish diplomatic relations. Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan also signed such an agreement with Israel. Previously, only two Arab states, neighbouring Egypt and Jordan, had diplomatic relations with Israel.
With the rapprochement, both countries hope for economic benefits, but it is also seen as forming an alliance against Iran and its nuclear program.