Skip to main content

Another Israeli minister visits UAE, calling for 'peace and stability'

Communications Minister Ayoub Kara's trip to Dubai the latest visit to a Gulf Arab state by one of Israel's top officials
Israeli Minister of Communications Ayoub Kara delivers a speech during a conference in Dubai (Reuters)

Israel's communications minister called for "peace and security" on Tuesday during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, as his country 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," Ayoub Kara said at a telecommunications conference in Dubai.

Kara's statement, at the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference, comes after the visits of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Oman and Culture Minister Miri Regev to Abu Dhabi in the past week.

Neither Oman nor the UAE has diplomatic ties with Israel.

Normalising ties with Israel remains the most controversial policy debate in the Arab world, which largely boycotts the Jewish state over its occupation of Palestinian land and denying Palestinian refugees the right of return.

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev tours a mosque in Abu Dhabi. (Reuters)

Regev, known for controversial comments about Arabs and Muslims, 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.

After Oman, Israeli officials' Gulf trips signal new diplomatic detente
Read More »

"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.

Regev is a member of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and former spokeswoman of the Israeli army.

Israel's national anthem was also played at a judo tournament in Abu Dhabi on Sunday after one of its athletes won gold.

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.

The Palestinian Central Council, a body of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, on Monday authorised the PLO to suspend recognition of Israel and stop security coordination with the Jewish state.

Palestinian authorities have accused Israel of excessive force after an air strike killed three teenagers on the Gaza border on Sunday. Another Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli fire in Gaza border clashes on Monday.