Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, talk as they walk through an airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates January 30, 2022 Photograph:( Reuters )
The UAE, along with Bahrain, signed US-brokered normalisation agreements with Israel, dubbed the "Abraham Accords", in 2020. The two Gulf states and Israel share concerns about Iran and its regional allies
Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Sunday said that his country supported United Arab Emirates' security needs. He was visiting UAE for first time. Herzog said that Israel wanted more countries in the region to join its detente with the Arab world.
The UAE, along with Bahrain, signed US-brokered normalisation agreements with Israel, dubbed the "Abraham Accords", in 2020. The two Gulf states and Israel share concerns about Iran and its regional allies.
Isaac Herzog discussed security and bilateral relations with the UAE's de facto ruler Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In past fortnight, Abu Dhabi has been a target of two attacks which involved missiles and drones. The attacks were claimed by Yemen based Houthi rebels. Iran supports Houthi rebels.
Israel has responded by offering security and intelligence support to the UAE against further drone attacks.
"We completely support your security requirements ... We are here together to find ways and means to bring full security to people who seek peace in our region," Herzog said during the meeting, in comments released by his office.
Sheikh Mohammed said Israel and the UAE share a "common view of the threats to regional stability and peace, particularly those posed by militias and terrorist forces".
The presidency in Israel is a largely ceremonial post. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited the UAE in December.
En route to the UAE President Herzog's plane flew over Saudi Arabia, which Herzog said was "a very moving moment". Riyadh has not yet followed its Gulf neighbours in normalising ties with Israel, but Israeli officials express hope this will happen.
"The Abraham Accords should be continued and more nations should join us," Herzog said.
Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas, which opposes countries normalising with Israel, said such visits "encourage the occupation to continue escalating its aggression against our Palestinian people and denial of their rights".
The heads of the Manufacturers Association of Israel and of the Israel Export Institute, travelling with Herzog, discussed a $10 billion fund set up under the Abraham Accords and how the UAE might help Israel find new Middle Eastern and Asian markets, the Association said.
President Herzog met the UAE's foreign minister and other officials, UAE news agency WAM said. He will also meet Jewish communities in the UAE, which is the region's commercial and tourism hub.
(With inputs from agencies)