‘Writing History’: In First, Members of UAE National Council Visit Knesset

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Photo by Dovrut Haknesset/Noam Moskowitz on 7 February, 2022
By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 7 February, 2022

Jerusalem, 7 February, 2022 (TPS) — Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Defense, Interior and Foreign Affairs Committee in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal National Council, is leading a delegation of UAE members of parliament in Israel who visited the Knesset on Monday.

This is the first time that members of the UAE parliament visited the Knesset. The Emirati delegation included FNC members Sarah Mohammed Falkinaz, Marwan Obaid Al Muhairi and Mira Sultan Al Suwaidi.

Al Nuaimi, UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja and the delegation members met with Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy in his chamber, and then held meetings with Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chair MK Ram Ben Barak and the committee members, members of the Israel-UAE Parliamentary Friendship Group chaired by MKs Merav Ben Ari and Eli Cohen, and chairs of the Caucus for Promoting the Abraham Accords, MKs Ruth Wasserman Lande and Ofir Akunis.

Al Nuaimi stated at the Knesset that “it is important to see Israel’s relations with the United Arab Emirates and the Abraham Accords in a broad perspective and to understand the big picture. It’s not just a political agreement, it’s not an issue of security and protection, it’s an agent of change for the whole region.”

“We, in the UAE, want full ties with you, in all areas and levels, to promote peace, security, stability and prosperity for our entire region. We believe that our region has suffered a lot and the time has come for us to take the lead ourselves and create a better future for the next generation,” he declared.

“If we continue to act as we have done for the past decades, nothing will change, so our leadership had the courage to make such a decision and move forward with it,” he cautioned.

Therefore, “we are not repeating history, we are writing history. Those who want to separate us, are fighting for their cause, so we too need to fight for our cause.”

Ahead of the visit, Levy stated that “we will accept our brothers, the sons of Abraham, with open arms. This visit to Jerusalem, the Holy City to Judaism and Islam, is an expression of peace and fraternity between the two peoples and definitive proof that we can live at peace in the Middle East.”

“I strongly hope that this visit is a first harbinger of fertile collaborations between our parliaments, which will mark the expansion of the Abraham Accords to additional countries, and also open the door for inter-parliamentary cooperation with additional countries,” he added.

Dr. Al Nuaimi is known for his positive attitude towards Israel and for his work to promote tolerance and moderation, a Knesset spokesperson noted. In addition, he works to promote collaborations between the UAE Federal National Council and the Knesset.

Earlier in the day, the delegation met with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid,

During the meeting, both sides discussed “enhancing their cooperation” and “highlighted the importance of the Abraham Accords signed by the UAE and Israel, which aim to ensure peace in the Middle East and denounce extremism and hatred through achieving economic prosperity and development in the region.”

Al Nuaimi “affirmed the importance of parliamentary diplomacy to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries.”

This historic visit comes just a week after Israeli President Isaac Herzog returned from a similar first-ever visit to the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain shortly after it, announced in August 2020 the normalization of relations with Israel. The agreements were signed on the White House lawns on September 15, 2020.

Sudan was next to announce the normalization of relations with Israel in October 2020, Israel’s third peace treaty in two months.

Morocco was the fourth country to join the Abraham Accords with Israel. The two countries announced the normalization of relations in December 2020.

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.

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