Likud minister calls for ‘peace and security’ at Dubai conference
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Likud minister calls for ‘peace and security’ at Dubai conference

Ayoub Kara’s trip to emirate comes amid series of rare public visits by Israeli leaders to Gulf states which have no ties with Israel

Communications Minister Ayoub Kara gives a speech at the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on October 30, 2018. (Stringer/AFP)
Communications Minister Ayoub Kara gives a speech at the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on October 30, 2018. (Stringer/AFP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Communications Minister Ayoub Kara called for “peace and security” on Tuesday during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, as Israel launches an unprecedented diplomatic push into Gulf states.

“Peace and security in every state… with economic and scientific progress is what guarantees a future for the coming generations,” Kara, a member of the ruling Likud party, said at a telecommunications conference in Dubai.

Kara’s statement comes amid a diplomatic push by Israel in the mainly Sunni Gulf, which Israel sees as an ally against Shiite power Iran.

It follows visits by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Oman on Thursday and Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev to Abu Dhabi at the weekend.

Neither Oman nor the UAE has diplomatic ties with Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) talks with Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Oman on October 26, 2018. (Courtesy)

Normalizing ties with Israel — or recognizing it as a state — remains the most controversial policy debate in the Arab world, which largely boycotts Israel over its control of areas Palestinians claim for a future state.

Regev, known for making controversial comments, on Sunday toured the famed Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi — wearing a red full-length abaya and white headscarf and speaking to the camera in Hebrew.

“This is the first time that an Israeli minister is here on a visit,” Regev said, surrounded by a group of people in traditional Emirati dress.

Miri Regev, center, visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi with UAE officials on October 29, 2018. (Courtesy Chen Kedem Maktoubi)

Regev also is a member of Likud.

Israel’s national anthem was also played at a judo tournament in Abu Dhabi on Sunday after one of its athletes won gold — believed to be the first time the anthem has been played publicly in an Arab Gulf state.

Netanyahu has long sought a rapprochement with Arab states, citing in part concerns over their common enemy Iran. Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab states to have full diplomatic relations with Israel.

Kara was speaking at the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai on Tuesday.

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