“The sky is the limit for our relations,” al Nuaimi said.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
The visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the head of a UAE delegation to Israel took one step closer to reality as a senior Emirati official told All Arab News on Tuesday that his leader wants to visit Jerusalem.
“When we are talking about peace, we are talking about a comprehensive peace,” Dr. Ali Rashid al Nuaimi told All Arab News Editor in Chief Joel C. Rosenberg.
“We are talking about breaking all those walls and boundaries and building those bridges. So the sky is the limit for our relations,” al Nuaimi said.
Al Nuaimi is a member of the UAE Federal National Council for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and chairman of the Defense Affairs, Interior & Foreign Affairs Committee at the Council.
“Our crown prince is a visionary person. And he has the courage to make the hard decision,” al Nuaimi said.
“He believed that we as a nation, the UAE, should carry the mission of counter-extremism in the region and in the world,” he said.
“In order to achieve that, we had to promote peace, and look for a partner who believed in peace. And, you know, if you want to have peace in the region, you have to create peace with Israel. This is the first step; this is the strong message,” he said.
He also said a signing ceremony at the White House should take place in September.
Al Nuaimi said the treaty wasn’t just between two governments, but between two nations. “We feel the UAE people, you know, are ready to make the right move, the next level with the Israeli people.” He noted that on social media the government found widespread support for the peace initiative.
“It’s not only an opportunity for the Emirati nation but for the whole region,” Al Nuaimi said. He said the agreement brought “a message of peace to the world.”
Al Nuaimi expressed a message of inclusiveness unusual to the region, which has seen non-Muslim minorities persecuted and their communities destroyed. “Jews and Christians, their roots are in this area, in this region. They belong here actually,” he said.
Rosenberg noted that in Oct. 2018, when he came with a group of evangelical Christians to visit the UAE at the invitation of the country, he met the Minister of Tolerance. “I believe that the United Arab Emirates is the only country that I’m aware of that has a Minister of Tolerance,” he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had extended a public invitation for a UAE delegation to visit Israel on Monday while the Israeli delegation was in Abu Dhabi.
“I spoke today, a few minutes ago, with the members of our delegation in Abu Dhabi,” the prime minister said. “On my instruction, the head of the delegation, Meir Ben-Shabbat, invited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) delegation to Israel. I can tell you that we will give them a red carpet welcome just like they welcomed us.”
The agreement between the two countries is proceeding apace. On Tuesday, Israel and the UAE signed their first bi-national agreement for cooperation in banking and financial services, including the war on terror.
There has been much talk of tourism in the press and on Wednesday Saudi Arabia made a breakthrough announcement that it would allow all flights to and from the UAE to pass through its airspace. The announcement, though it didn’t mention Israel directly, was generally seen as a tacit nod to the agreement.
It has been reported that for years Israel and the UAE were carrying out unofficial ties. It was revealed this week that two years ago Netanyahu made a secret visit to the UAE.