Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 27 September 2020

UAE foreign minister arrives in Washington to sign Abraham Accord

White House will host ministers from Emirates and Bahrain to sign historic agreements on Tuesday

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed arrived in Washington on Sunday. Wam
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed arrived in Washington on Sunday. Wam

The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, arrived in Washington on Sunday night to sign the Abraham Accord, to strengthen ties between the Emirates and Israel.

Sheikh Abdullah was invited by US President Donald Trump to take part in the signing ceremony on Tuesday, in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A high-level delegation is accompanying him on the trip.

Among them are: Abdulla Al Marri, the Minister of Economy; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; Obaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs; and Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation.

Other notables include: Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE ambassador to the US and Minister; Omar Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Culture and Public Diplomacy; Lana Nusseibeh, UAE Permanent Representative to the UN; and Ali Al Neyadi, Commissioner of Customs and Chairman of the Federal Customs Authority.

Mr Netanyahu began his journey to Washington on Sunday evening.

"I travel to achieve peace in exchange for peace and we reached two peace agreements in just one month," Mr Netanyahu said on Twitter.

"This is a new era. These agreements will unite diplomatic peace with economic peace, and they will pump billions into our economy through investments, co-operation and joint ventures."

The US announced the Abraham Accord between the UAE and Israel in mid-August.

As part of the accord, Israel agreed to halt all annexation of Palestinian territories in exchange for establishing diplomatic ties with the UAE.

The agreement came in a joint call between Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Mr Trump and Mr Netanyahu.

The first commercial flight between the UAE and Israel took place last month as the two countries looked to open up their tourism sectors.

On that flight was a high-level US-Israeli delegation led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

On Friday, the White House announced that Israel and Bahrain had also agreed to establish full diplomatic relations.

High-level ministers from Bahrain will also formalise the deal at the Tuesday ceremony in the White House.

The European Council said on Sunday that the bloc “believes these developments represent a positive contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East”.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto will be the only EU diplomatic leader to attend the signing ceremony on Tuesday in Washington, his spokesman said on Sunday.

“At the invitation of US President Donald Trump, as the only European Union minister, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto will also attend the signing ceremony in the White House on Tuesday,” Mate Paczolay told Hungarian news agency MTI.

Mr Szijjarto will also hold talks with Mr Trump’s son-in-law and chief adviser, Jared Kushner, the minister’s spokesman said.

Updated: September 14, 2020 11:07 AM

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