Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met United Emirates Crown Prince Sheikh Mouhamad bin Zayad, marking the first official visit of an Israeli leader to the Gulf country.
“The focus of the visit was to create a strong bond and the leaders managed to do that,” an Israeli official in the delegation told Fox News. “It is personal connections that can create real peace.”
Bennett was greeted Sunday with an honor guard after landing on a direct flight from Israel.
His visit comes after the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords were signed last year, opening up a trade and tourism corridor between Israel and the UAE, along with Bahrain.
“[UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed] also emphasized that the UAE’s foreign relations are based on firm principles of mutual respect, cooperation, and upholding the values of coexistence and peace, hoping that stability will prevail in the Middle East,” a statement released by UAE state media read.
While the official readouts of meetings between the Israeli and Emirate leadership focus on economic and trade developments, the conversations come amid a backdrop of significant regional tension over Iran.
European and American officials continue conversations with Iran in Vienna, though finding a solution is looking less likely, according to reports.
At a G7 meeting this week, Germany’s foreign minister said no progress has been made in recent days as reports indicate new Iranian demands set back conversations for six months.
U.S. ally Israel continues to protest the attempts to negotiate with Iran and maintains it will act unilaterally against the Islamic Republic.