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The New Arab

UAE invites Israel minister for official visit, says minister

Gulf states are increasingly coming out in the open as allies to Israel [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 May, 2018

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The United Arab Emirates has invited an Israeli minister for an official visit in the latest move that reveals the growing bond between Israel and Gulf states.

The United Arab Emirates has invited an Israeli minister for an official visit in the latest move that reveals the growing bond between Israel and Gulf states.

Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara made the shock announcement on Israeli military radio on Monday, The New Arab's Arabic-language service reported.

"This is the first time an Arab country sends an official and public invite to an Israeli minister," Qara said according to his translated comments.

"The move comes amid dramatic changes in the relation between Israel and many Gulf states. Day by day, Arab states are revealing their desire to have ties with Israel,"

"Many Arab agencies, especially in the Gulf, are showing a desire to visit Israel very soon. Many official parties in the Gulf are not hesitating to express support for Tel Aviv and its positions," he added

The minister's revelation comes days after a report that Israel's prime minister held an impromptu meeting with the Emirati and Bahraini ambassadors to the United States.

Gulf states, in particular the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, are increasingly coming out in the open as allies to Israel as they find common cause against mutual foe Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu frequently boasts of growing, discreet cooperation with moderate Arab countries.

The Saudi crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman, met with pro-Israel Jewish American leaders during his recent high-profile trip to the US, during which he was quoted as criticising the Palestinians.

Israeli businessmen quietly operate in the UAE. The Emirati Embassy in Washington is planning an interfaith Iftar - the meal eaten by Muslims to break the Ramadan fast - that will include a US rabbi.

Bahrain's foreign minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, stunned Israelis and Arabs this past week when he tweeted support for Israel's self-defence after Israel retaliated to an Iranian rocket barrage by attacking suspected Iranian targets in Syria.

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