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Herzog to make historic trip to UAE next week, will meet crown prince

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Composite image shows Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, left, and President Isaac Herzog, right. (Markus Schreiber/AP, Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Composite image shows Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, left, and President Isaac Herzog, right. (Markus Schreiber/AP, Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

President Isaac Herzog will fly to the United Arab Emirates next Sunday for a two-day visit, the first by an Israeli president to the Gulf state, his office announces.

Herzog was invited by Abu Dhabi’s powerful Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, known colloquially as MBZ and seen as the UAE’s de facto ruler.

Herzog is slated to meet with MBZ, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Dubai ruler Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, senior government officials and members of the Jewish community in the country.

The president will also open Israel’s national day at Dubai Expo 2020 on Monday.

“We have the privilege of making history by making the first visit of an Israeli president to the United Arab Emirates,” says Herzog in a statement. “This important visit comes as the Israeli and Emirati nations are busy laying the foundations of a new shared future. I believe that our bold new partnership will transform the Middle East and inspire the whole region. We are a peace-loving nation, and together we will expand the historic circle of peace of the Abraham Accords and create a better, more tolerant, and safer world for our children.”

The president will travel with his wife Michal.

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