Steinitz returns after secret meeting in Abu Dhabi

Weeks after Israeli diplomatic mission established in Abu Dhabi, Energy Minister traveled to UAE capital to meet with top officials.

Cynthia Blank ,

Minister Yuval Steinitz at Jerusalem Post Conference
Minister Yuval Steinitz at Jerusalem Post Conference
Jerusalem Post

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz returned home to Israel on Monday following an unusual visit to Abu Dhabi, Channel 2 reports.

According to the report, Steinitz held meetings with the top United Arab Emirates (UAE) officials to discuss business interests shared by both parties. 

The UAE and Israel have reportedly been negotiating quietly for some time, mainly due to fears of Iran's growing power in the region after sanctions against it were lifted as part of a nuclear deal with world powers.

Israel recently even opened a formal diplomatic office in Abu Dhabi, though the UAE asserted it did not reflect a change in relations between the two countries. 

It appears Steinitz's meetings were held within the framework of strategic cooperation between Israel and other moderate Arab states on the Iran issue - and additional Israeli diplomatic missions may be opened in the future. 

The official reason for Steinitz's visit to Abu Dhabi, however, is being kept under tight security. Sources close to the minister refused to confirm details of the trip.