The United Arab Emirates on Monday congratulated Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid on their formation of a new government.
The UAE foreign ministry tweeted that it looks forward to “working together to advance regional peace, strengthen tolerance and coexistence, and embark upon a new era of cooperation in technology, trade, and investment.”
Bennett’s entry into office ended over 12 years of consecutive rule by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who oversaw the normalization of relations with the UAE last year.
Israel and the UAE established ties in a deal known as the Abraham Accords, a diplomatic coup for Netanyahu brokered by his staunch ally, former US president Donald Trump. Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco also joined the accords.
— وزارة الخارجية والتعاون الدولي (@MoFAICUAE) June 14, 2021
However, in March Netanyahu was said to have angered the Emiratis by trying to squeeze in an official visit before the Israeli elections that same month, in what would have been seen as a major campaign coup.
At the time, Anwar Gargash, adviser to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, said the country “will not be a part in any internal electioneering in Israel, now or ever.”
A Netanyahu trip to the UAE had been planned for several months but was postponed on numerous occasions. Netanyahu had originally been set to make the trip in November, then December, and then in January and February, but the pandemic, scheduling issues, and internal political crises led to repeated delays.
The elections, like three other votes over the previous two years, were inconclusive, with Bennett and Lapid eventually forming a government that ousted Netanyahu on Sunday.