update deskMiddle East

Israel opens first-ever national pavilion at IDEX arms expo in Abu Dhabi

Over 30 blue-and-white defense firms are participating.

Israel inaugurates its first-ever national pavilion at the International Defense Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, Feb. 20, 2023. Credit: Israeli Ministry of Defense Spokesperson's Office.
Israel inaugurates its first-ever national pavilion at the International Defense Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, Feb. 20, 2023. Credit: Israeli Ministry of Defense Spokesperson's Office.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense on Monday inaugurated its first-ever national pavilion at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in the United Arab Emirates.

As part of joint efforts to strengthen relations with the Abraham Accords countries, SIBAT, the ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate, is leading a delegation of more than 30 Israeli companies at the biennial event, which runs Feb. 20-24. The arms and defense technology sales exhibition in Abu Dhabi is the largest in the Middle East.

Brig. Gen. (res.) Yair Kulas, the head of SIBAT, said that the pavilion’s inauguration marked an “important milestone” in deepening Israel’s partnership with the United Arab Emirates.

“As our defense relations continue to expand, we are proud to present and share the innovative technologies and systems developed and created by Israeli defense industries and the Israeli Ministry of Defense. We plan to hold multiple meetings during the exhibition to discuss new areas of collaboration and are looking forward to bolstering future cooperation with our partners in the UAE,” said Kulas.

The Israeli technologies include air defense systems, rocket and missile systems, unmanned aerial systems, artificial intelligence, electro-optical systems and cyber solutions.

The participating companies include Aerodan Systems, Aitech Systems, Beth-El Industries, Bird Aerosystems, Controp Precision Technologies, Copterpix, Dagan-Optics, Edgy Bees, Elbit Systems, Emtan-Israel Small Arms Industry, Fibrotex, Gate Technologies, Gilat Telecom, Hagor Industries, Heven Drones, IAI—Israel Aerospace Industries, Magam Safety, Nimda Co, Omnisys, Ophir Optronics Solutions, Orbit Communication Systems, Plasan Sasa, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Reshet Graf, RT LTA Systems, SCD—Semi Conductor Services, SDK Embedded Systems, SK Group, Smart Shooter, Spearuav, Steadicopter, Thermal Beacon, Tomer, Uvision Air, Vidisco and YTS Systems.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday night said he was actively courting Saudi Arabia in an effort to persuade it to join in the Abraham Accords as that would constitute a “quantum leap” towards regional peace.

Netanyahu, in an address to the National Leadership Mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, characterized the Trump administration-brokered agreements that normalized Israel’s relations with four Arab countries as a “warm peace.”

That peace, he added, “encompasses not only governments but also substantial parts of the Arab peoples of the Gulf, who now recognize that Israel is not the demon that they’ve been told about for so many decades. They understand the benefits to their own lives, they want to expand it. Well, we want to expand it too.

“Obviously, the next step could be not just another country but a quantum leap in expanding the circle of peace, and I’m talking of course about peace with Saudi Arabia,” Netanyahu continued. “I think that if we can achieve this, maybe through gradual steps, maybe it will take some normalization steps, it will change Israel’s relationship with the rest of the Arab world.

“It will lead to the effective ending of the Israeli-Arab conflict—not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [but] the Israeli-Arab conflict, and will also help normalize Israel’s relationship with a great part of the Muslim world,” he said.

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