UAE foreign minister meets FMs of US, Israel

Washington: Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the UAE, US and Israel have agreed to establish two new working groups with one focusing on religious coexistence and the other on water and energy issues.

The UAE top diplomat made the statements when he met in Washington DC the Secretary of State Antony J Blinken and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

The meeting covered the progress achieved one year following the signing of the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement by the UAE and Israel as well as the prospects of consolidating bilateral cooperation in several areas of common interest.

The three top diplomats also explored a number of regional and international developments. Sheikh Abdullah said the three-way meeting reflects the US’s commitment to building bridges of cooperation between two nations that are “committed to achieving advancement and development.”

 “Our presence here today reaffirms our commitment to the necessity of changing the prevailing conditions in the region in the right direction,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

 “We have succeeded in establishing a nation that respects values and recognises tolerance and co-existence,” he said, stressing that the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement is a catalyst for establishing peace in the region.

He added that he would soon visit Israel at the invitation of the Israeli Foreign Minister.

“I will visit Israel soon in order to meet our friends and partners. We need to not only celebrate this bilateral relationship but also to look forward to wider prospects of cooperation between the two nations.”

He added that there could be no talk of peace in the Middle East if Israel and the Palestinians were not “on talking terms”.

“Therefore, we’re happy to see over the past week Israeli officials meet with their Palestinian counterparts. We have to continue encouraging them to do so. We believe that the UAE-Israeli relations have enabled us to be frank with each other and helped us to encourage others whenever there is something we can do.”

“We’re impressed with the growing relationship with Israel. We always rely on our friends in the United States of America. This is an important thing for us. And we need to look forward to wider prospects of cooperation between the UAE and Israel in several fields.”

On Yemen, Sheikh Abdullah said that the UAE is always discussing the conditions in Yemen.

“We should recall that it’s the lack of commitment on the part of Houthis that drew us to the situation in Yemen. We’re working hard and diligently with our friends to put an end to the Yemeni crisis and to ensure Yemenis will enjoy a better life.”

He emphasised that the UAE will never accept a Hizbollah-style entity on the borders of the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 “The Houthis have managed to increasingly reinforce their presence in a manner similar to that of Hizbollah. We certainly want to put an end to this dispute and to work with the international community on a plan to ensure reconstruction of Yemen. Neither do we want to see in Yemen a situation similar to that in South Lebanon,” he continued.