Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met with his Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.
It was the first face-to-face encounter between the two top diplomats, with the exchange marking three years since Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalized relations as part of the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords.
According to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the two men discussed advances in bilateral ties between Israel and the UAE since the White House signing ceremony on Sept. 15, 2020, including in the areas of tourism and trade.
“In the three years since the signing of the Abraham Accords, the relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates are growing and deepening to new achievements and are a model for peace that promotes prosperity and regional stability,” said Cohen.
“We have signed more than 40 agreements with the United Arab Emirates and we continue to expand relations and reach peaks in tourism, trade and joint regional projects. The free-trade agreement will lead to the doubling of trade volumes and the creation of ties between companies in the two countries,” he added.
Bin Zayed said that he was looking forward to seeing Cohen in November at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai and noted the large Israeli delegation planning to participate in the U.N. event. Israel is sending its largest-ever team to the summit—1,000 participants, including representatives of more than 100 climate-tech companies.
The Israeli delegation to the annual COP28 Climate Conference, which is scheduled to take place between Nov. 30 and Dec. 12 at Dubai’s Expo City complex, will be headed by Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will attend the two-day leadership conference at the start of the event.
For his part, Cohen invited his Emirati counterpart to visit the Jewish state as soon as possible.
Israel’s top diplomat also met on Wednesday with the European Union’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
“Relations between Israel and the European Union have been improving over the past year following my visit to Brussels a few months ago,” tweeted Cohen after the meeting.
“We agreed at the meeting on a visit to Israel in early December that will continue and strengthen the important relations between Israel and the European Union in the fields of economy and innovation,” the minister continued.
Meetings with Republic of Malawi Foreign Minister Nancy Tembo and Republic of Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov also took place on Wednesday, continuing a series of diplomatic encounters at the U.N. General Assembly from the previous day, that included meetings with the foreign ministers of Sweden, Canada, Bahrain, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Malta.
Cohen said that they discussed “economic cooperation, the expansion of the Abraham Accords and the fight against the Iranian nuclear weapon.”