Kuwait announced on Saturday that it would boycott a regional conference on renewable energy because of the presence of an Israeli delegation at the event, reports the Kuwait Times.
Water and Energy Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud) arrived in Abu Dhabi over the weekend to participate in the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) conference.
Kuwait was scheduled to take part in the event as a member of the IRENA and participate in discussions about energy sustainability in the Middle East held as part of the conference, but the Ministry of Electricity and Water in Kuwait announced in a statement Friday that it had pulled out of the meeting.
“The decision comes in line with Kuwait’s commitment to boycott all forms of interaction with the Zionist regime,” said the statement which was quoted by the Kuwait Times.
Shalom became the first Israeli minister to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since January 2010, when senior Hamas terrorist Mahmud al-Mabhouh was found dead in a Dubai hotel room. Mabhouh’s death was widely blamed on Israel's Mossad spy agency, which never confirmed or denied involvement.
Shalom’s visit to the UAE comes as Israel has quietly been seeking the alliance of Gulf monarchies, which like the Jewish state are concerned over Iran's rising regional power.
Recent reports in Iran indicated that Israel has been getting closer to Saudi Arabia, with one claiming that a Saudi Arabian delegation flew to Israel in December for meetings with high-ranking Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
A recent report in the British Sunday Times claimed that Israel and Saudi Arabia may team up to fight Iran if talks between Iran and the West fail to curb Iran’s nuclear program.