Middle East

Israeli interior minister meets her Emirati counterpart in Abu Dhabi

Ayelet Shaked pays 1st official visit to UAE, discusses agreement to cancel visas with Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Zain Khalil   | 05.10.2021
Israeli interior minister meets her Emirati counterpart in Abu Dhabi

JERUSALEM

Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked began her first official visit to the United Arab Emirates on Monday, during which she met with her counterpart Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan and visited the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. 

According to the Israel Hayom newspaper, the two ministers discussed an agreement to cancel entry visas between the UAE and Israel which was signed in October 2020 and will enter into force next week.

They also discussed a number of initiatives to enhance cooperation between the two countries, including interfaith projects in the interest of strengthening religious communities in the two countries and promoting interfaith dialogue.

Shaked suggested strengthening the training and education of Muslim imams who are citizens of Israel (Palestinian Israeli citizens) in the UAE "on religious moderation, tolerance and combating violence."

The Israeli Ministry of Interior controls the task of appointing Muslim imams in Arab towns and cities in Israel and employing about 300 imams and muezzins at 270 mosques.

Shaked invited her Al Nahyan to visit Israel to participate in a “joint interfaith prayer” to be held in November.

She also visited Wahat Al Karama, a memorial for UAE soldiers.

Shaked is expected to visit the Israeli pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

In mid-September, Israel and the UAE signed an agreement to normalize relations between them under the auspices of former US President Donald Trump.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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