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Herzog hosts Emirati FM, hails normalization as ‘a paradigm change’ in Mideast

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

President Isaac Herzog greets UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan as he arrives at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, September 15, 2022. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog greets UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan as he arrives at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, September 15, 2022. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

President Isaac Herzog hosts an official luncheon to welcome UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Jerusalem on the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords.

“We welcome you here with open arms and open hearts,” says Herzog at the President’s Residence. “We welcome you to our home as dreamers watch a dream come true.”

Herzog calls the normalization agreements “a paradigm change in the Middle East, of sounding new voices, of painting new horizons for our children and their future and a celebration of life and change.”

Bin Zayed, visiting Jerusalem for the first time, calls it “a privilege and an honor” to be in Israel and to be hosted by the president and first lady.

The top Emirati diplomat’s delegation includes the UAE’s minister of state for international cooperation, ministry for culture and youth and Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja.

Bin Zayed also signs the official guestbook and presents Herzog with a letter from UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, commonly known as MBZ.

The UAE diplomat is also slated to meet with Prime Minister Yair Lapid this afternoon; he will later attend a reception in Herzliya with Herzog to celebrate the anniversary of the accords.

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