The talks in Abu Dhabi—the first between the leaders of Israel and the U.A.E. since the two countries established diplomatic ties last year—gave Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan their first chance to coordinate personally about their shared regional rival, Iran, and its expanding nuclear program.
It also marked an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss budding business ties between their countries, which normalized relations late last year after 50 years of no formal diplomatic ties. The deal led to agreements with several other Arab countries called the Abraham Accords, and billions of dollars in new business…
The two countries have already increased registered bilateral trade by 10-fold year-over-year in the first 10 months of 2021 to $874.5 million. That sum doesn’t reflect some of the biggest deals struck between Israel and the U.A.E., including the $1 billion sale by Israel’s Delek Drilling of a stake in its Tamar gas field to Emirati wealth fund Mubadala.
Monday’s meeting comes after Sheikh Mohammed traveled to Turkey late last month to begin patching up relations with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a supporter of Islamist political movements that the U.A.E. see as a national-security threat.