Jerusalem, 15 September, 2022 (TPS) — Israel’s President Isaac Herzog and his wife Michal hosted an official luncheon on Thursday in Jerusalem in honor of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is in the Jewish state to celebrate two years since the signing of the Abraham Accords.
Sheikh Abdullah is traveling with a high-level UAE delegation, including Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Noura bint Mohamed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth. This is his first visit to Jerusalem.
Bin Zayed signed the guestbook and presented Herzog with a letter from the President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“The world looks at the Abraham Accords with awe and respect and says there’s a new Middle East in many ways, being created and moving forward,” said Herzog.
“This is historic, but I think in many ways this is a relationship which very few thought that in two years it would be as successful,” bin Zayed added.
“We welcome you to our home as dreamers watch a dream come true. This is a joyous celebration for all of us because it marks a paradigm change in the Middle East, of sounding new voices, of painting new horizons for our children and their future and a celebration of life and change. Ten or twenty years ago, as the Middle Eastern trajectory was fraught with conflict, no one could have imagined such a vision of peaceful cooperation, and much less foreseen the festivities including the one in this room,” Herzog said.
He further noted that “it is fitting that our treaty of friendship is named after our common ancestral father, Abraham. The Jewish interpretation of the biblical text, the Midrash, teaches us that when Abraham was a child, he smashed the false idols in his father’s home. Like Abraham we too are smashing false idols, meaning smashing false conventions, taking a sledgehammer to outdated beliefs holding us back. Our bold friendship shows our world like Abraham did that a better, different, more humane world is possible.”
The Abraham Accords, the peace deal between Israel and the UAE, is considered a great success. The bilateral trade of goods between the two countries for the first seven months of 2022 reached $1.407 Billion, compared to $1.221 Billion for all of 2021.
The two countries have signed multiple treaties and agreements of collaboration on a broad and diverse range of issues.
Since the signing of the Abraham Accords, Israeli defense and IDF officials have held about 150 meetings with their counterparts in Arab countries in the region, not including Jordan and Egypt, resulting in more than $3 billion in defense procurement transactions.
The Abraham Accords, which were signed in September 2020, established diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and shortly after that with Sudan and Morocco.
The Abraham Accords, the first pact between an Arab country and Israel in 25 years, is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.