Israel shows interest to build wider connections across West Asia
Israel’s new Foreign Minister said on Wednesday his Landmark visit to the United Arab Emirates was just the start of a road to wider peace in West Asia, reaching out to Arab states still wary of normalising ties.
Yair Lapid, the first Israeli Cabinet Minister to visit the Gulf state since the countries forged ties last year, also reiterated Israel’s concern about the Iran nuclear deal being negotiated in Vienna.
“This visit isn’t the end of the road to peace, it is just the beginning,” he told reporters.
“Our hand is outstretched ...I hope this visit is the first of many and that together with our new friends we continue to make history in the entire region” he said.
The UAE and Bahrain normalised ties with Israel under so-called “Abraham Accords” brokered by Mr. Trump’s administration, creating a new regional dynamic based on mutual concern over Iran and Islamist groups. Mr. Lipid declined to comment on whether Israel was coordinating with Gulf States over Iran, saying he did not want to “embarrass” his hosts by remarking one neighbor while in the UAE, but noted his country was worried about the nuclear deal. Gulf states have called for a stronger deal of longer duration that also addresses Tehran’s missile programme and support for regional proxies that Iran has denied giving.