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UAE’s Sheikh bin Zayed offers Passover greetings to Israel, Netanyahu

The two leaders discussed opportunities to expand the 2020 Abraham Accords that normalized relations between the countries.

Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (left) at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., May 15, 2017. DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley
Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (left) at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., May 15, 2017. DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley

United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Tuesday called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to offer Passover greetings ahead of the Jewish holiday.

The UAE leader wished Netanyahu and the Israeli people a happy Passover. In turn, Netanyahu offered Sheikh bin Zayed and the Emirati people best wishes for the month-long Muslim fasting holiday of Ramadan, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Their conversation was described as “warm and friendly” with the two leaders discussing their commitment to expanding the historic normalization agreement between the countries that was ratified as part of a ceremony at the White House on Sept. 15, 2020.

Netanyahu and Sheikh bin Zayed agreed to meet in person in the near future. The prime minister was scheduled to visit the Emirates in January; Hebrew media reported that the UAE canceled the visit due to concerns that Netanyahu would speak publicly against Iran. The Prime Minister’s Office said the visit was nixed due to logistical reasons.

In addition to the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan joined the Abraham Accords. The United States and Israel are seeking more Arab Muslim states to enter into the normalization agreement by formalizing diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia mentioned as a potential candidate.

Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia recently restored diplomatic relations with Iran and Bahrain could follow its Gulf neighbors in re-establishing ties with the Islamic Republic.

It was reported last month that Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen was working to normalize ties with Mauritania, Somalia, Niger and Indonesia.

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