Delegation from UAE arrives in Israel
Delegation from UAE arrives in Israel Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

The United Arab Emirates Minister of Economy, Abdulla bin Touq, told i24NEWS in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that Israel and the UAE could establish security ties, saying “everything is on the table at the moment.”

“I think this relationship will open a lot of opportunities and many sectors in many areas,” he said.

Bin Touq was part of an Emirati delegation which visited Israel on Tuesday. The sides signed series of agreements establishing ties between the two countries and implementing the Abraham Accords signed at the White House last month

In the interview with i24NEWS, Bin Touq expressed his country’s happiness over the normalization of ties with Jerusalem, “not just for the UAE -- for the youth. The youth of the nation, the youth of both countries and the youth of the region. It’s something we’re very proud of.”

“Before coming here I had a word with my daughter… I said ‘I’m going to Israel,’ and she was so upset that I didn’t bring her with me,” he recalled.

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Cultural Affairs Omar Saif Ghobash, who signed a visa exemption agreement between both countries, hailed the prospect of free travel, adding it is “fantastic for the business community.”

Ghobash had a message for Israelis visiting the UAE, saying “they’ll find that there’s a massive amount of goodwill -- it surprises me. I didn’t realize that there was so much good will, given the rhetoric that was so prominent in Arab papers and Arab media. So take that as an advantage.”

“On the negative side, you need to be a little aware of respect. Respecting boundaries and respecting other people’s good will.”

Ghobash spoke about his meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and said he “met us at the plane steps, very approachable… Again, not what we’re used to through the media.”

On Monday, a day before the UAE delegation visited Israel, the Emirati government ratified the landmark agreement with Israel.

In a tweet, the Emirati government announced that “the Council of Ministers headed by Mohammed bin Rashid adopts a decision ratifying the peace treaty and full diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel, and directs to initiate constitutional procedures to issue a federal decree ratifying the agreement.”

The UAE’s ratification came several days after the Knesset overwhelmingly approved the peace treaty in an 80 to 13 vote.