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Israeli PM On First Official Visit To United Arab Emirates

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets Abu Dhabi Crown Prince week after Israeli and Emirati joint mass-casualty drill. 

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is in the United Arab Emirates on the first official visit of an Israeli leader to the Gulf state.

Although the historic Abraham Accords were signed between Israel and the UAE under the watch of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year, Netanyahu never made it there for an official visit due to the pandemic and other complications.

Bennett was received by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) at his private palace in Abu Dhabi on Monday, December 13.

According to the Israeli Government Press Office, Bennett and MBZ discussed deepening the ties between Israel and the UAE, especially economic and regional issues that can strengthen both countries’ prosperity, welfare and stability.

Israeli and Emirati first-responders participating in a joint mass-casualty drill, December 2021. (Courtesy of Magen David Adom)

Bennett told Emirati state media WAM that Israelis and Emiratis enjoy a natural partnership and friendship because “are neighbors and cousins. We are the grandchildren of Prophet Abraham.”

Bennett also met separately with UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber and UAE Minister of Transportation Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi.

Last week, Israel’s national emergency response and blood services network, Magen David Adom, participated in a joint virtual mass-casualty simulation with the UAE Ambulance Service.

Observers from The Netherlands, Italy and France watched as the Israeli and Emirati first responders went through the drill twice — once for each team — to learn protocols from one another in dealing with a traffic accident involving dozens of injured passengers in challenging terrain and weather conditions.

MDA Director General Eli Bin said the joint drill was “a historical event of exchanging knowledge, technologies and experience, with the constant goal of improving our lifesaving abilities.”

Produced in association with Israel21C.

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