Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Tuesday with United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, following a recent strain in ties between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the pair held a “warm and friendly” conversation in which they expressed “their commitment to advancing their historic peace deal.” They also exchanged holiday blessings for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the upcoming Jewish festival of Passover.
“The two leaders agreed to continue their dialogue in a personal meeting in the near future,” the statement from Netanyahu’s office said.
The UAE’s readout of the call, published by the official WAM news agency, did not mention potential face-to-face talks between the two leaders.
It also stressed the UAE’s commitment to work with “Israel, fellow Arab nations, and international partners to avoid regional escalation and advance a path to peace and stability,” amid heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
Bin Zayed described his country’s relations with the Jewish state as a “strategic approach to peace and development, which is an aspiration for the entire region,” the statement said.
“His Highness pointed to the countries’ Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement” as an example of “what this growing relationship is achieving on a daily basis,” it added, referring to a bilateral free trade deal that took effect in March.
According to the Israeli account, bin Zayed initiated the conversation with Netanyahu, while the WAM report said the opposite.
UAE-Israel ties have appeared strained since Netanyahu’s hard-right government took offie in late December. The UAE envoy notably skipped a Foreign Ministry iftar dinner held this week for diplomats from Muslim countries.
Netanyahu was due to visit the UAE shortly after returning to office, but the trip was scuppered after National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem, which Abu Dhabi denounced as a “storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard.” The premier has yet to be be reinvited.