Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a lunch hosted by US President Donald Trump after signing the agreement, Washington, September 15, 2020
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a lunch hosted by US President Donald Trump after signing the agreement, Washington, September 15, 2020

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed strengthening relations between their two countries, in the first announced phone call between them since the signing of the agreement to normalize relations.

The UAE is the first Gulf country and the third Arab country to establish full diplomatic relations with the Hebrew state, as part of an agreement signed at the White House last month under the auspices of US President Donald Trump.

Netanyahu signed the agreement on the Israeli side, and the Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the Emirati side, while Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and the strong man in the Gulf state, did not attend the ceremony.

Sheikh Mohammed wrote on his Twitter account on Monday, “I received a phone call from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which we talked about strengthening relations between the two countries, in addition to the prospects for peace and the region’s need for stability, cooperation, and development.”

For his part, Netanyahu said in a statement, “During the weekend, I spoke with my friend, Crown Prince of the Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. I invited him to Israel and invited me to visit Abu Dhabi, but before that, we will see a delegation from the UAE and another delegation will go there.”

“I told the crown prince that we will approve the historic peace agreement this week in the government and then in Parliament,” he added, referring to the official voting process to approve the agreement.

Last week, the Israeli and Emirati foreign ministers met for the first time in the German capital Berlin and visited the Holocaust memorial.

This is the first phone call since the UAE signed a peace agreement in Washington last month with the Hebrew state.

On August 13, Netanyahu and Mohammed bin Zayed held a phone call with the US President.

The two countries have already started signing trade agreements and exchanging visits, with direct embassies and flights to be opened before the end of the year, according to Emirati and Israeli officials.

It is expected that the economies of the UAE and Israel, which are severely affected by the measures related to the new Coronavirus, will reap major benefits from the normalization of relations, which gives the Hebrew state an unprecedented outlet to the Gulf.

The agreement coincided with an announcement that Israel would freeze the annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank, noting that the Emirati move in the Palestinian territories was described as “treason.”

It is reported that Bahrain also signed an agreement in the White House to start discussing the establishment of full diplomatic relations with Israel.

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