Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer paid a secret visit to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, Israeli media reported on Monday.
The main purpose of the trip was to pave the way for a visit to Abu Dhabi by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Walla!.
Dermer served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2013-2021, and helped forge the Trump administration-brokered Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between the Jewish state and four Arab countries.
He is the first Israeli minister to visit the UAE since the establishment of the new government, according to the report.
Earlier this month, reports of a potential prime ministerial trip surfaced after UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan called Netanyahu to congratulate him on forming a government, the sixth time he has done so in his record-setting political career.
Netanyahu was on several occasions set to travel to the UAE before leaving office in 2021, but did not actually make the trip.
Monday’s report also suggested that Dermer’s visit was intended to assuage concerns regarding right-wing members of Netanyahu’s government, specifically National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who recently defied Palestinian and international threats by visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Thereafter, the UAE requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the matter.