UAE, Israel have most extensive relationships in region: Envoy - GulfToday

UAE, Israel have most extensive relationships in region: Envoy


Israel Head of Mission to the UAE Eitan Na’eh (extreme right) with Mohammad Al Khaja at the site of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Israeli Head of Mission Eitan Na’eh is looking forward to the levelling up of the Jewish State’s diplomatic and bilateral relations with the UAE in the years to come. He believes the forging of socio-cultural-educational exchanges for the Israeli and Emirati youth shall further galvanise the vision of the “Abraham Accords Peace Agreement: Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalisation Between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel,” agreed upon and signed last year.

Na’eh expressed his thoughts on Wednesday morning through the Zoom platform with Gulf Today. He was interviewed as the US-brokered historic treaty, initially agreed to in a joint statement by the United States of America, Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Aug. 13, 2020, turns one year this Friday. The official signing took place on Sept.15, 2020 at the White House in Washington, D.C. with UAE Foreign and International Cooperation Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as signatories. Witness was then US President Donald Trump.

Before tackling the critical role of academic and cultural exchanges Na’eh discussed the Abraham Accords: “For the Israeli side, it is a dream come true to sign accords with the countries around us that foresee and execute full normalisation of relationships. One thing is clear, we want to live in peace with our environments. We want diplomatic, full normal relations with the countries around us. We want to develop and (in) signing agreements you sign peace. Everybody speaks about peace. This is a means to an end. The end is economic prosperity and security. It is not only the signing of a paper. The next step to the signing is a matter of vision.

“A vision shared by the leadership of both countries (Israel and UAE). And that is to create a peaceful environment through the enhancement of bilateral relationships on all fields and as the two countries see fit according to their national Interests,” continued Na’eh who assumed the top diplomatic post of his country to the UAE in Jan. 2021.

He explained that the normalisation of relationships between two sovereign states consists of agreements negotiated and signed. Between the UAE and Israel for instance, and as a consequence of the Abraham Accords, was the signing of the “Bilateral Agreement on Economic and Trade Cooperation” by visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and UAE Foreign and International Cooperation Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on June 29, 2021 in Abu Dhabi.

“We will drill down to opening talks on free trade. There is the protection of investments. There is the prevention of double taxation. There is the aviation agreement. Agreements are being negotiated; be it in energy, environment, agriculture, food security, climate change. You will see us sign within the next few months the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement,” Na’eh enumerated.

Within one year of the Abraham Accords, “one-third” of 30 areas of cooperation had been signed. Some would take effect within one year. Others are on the negotiating table.

According to Na’eh, clubbed with the progressing diplomatic and bilateral relations between two countries is the prioritisation of the best for other countries and a region. In connection with the UAE and Israel, the Middle East: “It is the idea to create regional peace and lead by example.

“To create a model of relationships that is on how countries manage their bilateral diplomatic relationships. When you sign a peace accord, when you normalise relationships, it is an act that you do where there are no winners or losers. Everybody wins. It is not football. It is not cricket. Everybody wins.”

“Beyond the bilateral relations, we look at the region. How can in the future these agreements benefit the overall Israeli-Arab conflict, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? I think the answer is to lead by example. I think the UAE and Israel are the two countries today with the most extensive, comprehensive relationships and cooperation plans that Israel has with any country in the region. We definitely want that expanded,” Na’eh also said.

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