(March 13, 2023 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday dismissed a Channel 12 report of a crisis in relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
“The report is baseless. Israel and the UAE are holding productive diplomatic contacts in all areas, including today,” said Netanyahu in a statement.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry also rejected the report, stating, “Contrary to advertising, relations between Israel and the UAE are strong and solid. Evidence of this is, among other things, the agreement reached in recent days on the text of the customs agreement, which will lead to the entry into force of the free trade agreement between the countries and expand the relations between Israel and the UAE.”
The UAE did not respond to the report. However, Israeli Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek tweeted on Sunday, “From conversations with senior sources in Abu Dhabi who are involved in details of the relations between the countries and know both sides well, the news in the Israeli media this evening is simply not true. Period.”
According to Channel 12, the UAE had announced its intention to stop the procurement of defense systems from Israel.
The report claimed the decision was due to statements and action of the governing coalition’s more right-wing members, including National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.
Israeli sources claimed, according to the report, that Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed had told Israeli officials, “Until we make sure that Prime Minister Netanyahu has the government under control, we will not be able to do things jointly.”
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