Eitan Na'eh
Eitan Na'eh Mark Israel Salem

Israel's ties with the United Arab Emirates will stay strong even if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is replaced by Yamina Chair Naftali Bennett or any other leader, according to the Israeli ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Eitan Na'eh.

"It does not matter who is prime minister," Na'eh made it clear at the Global Investment Forum sponsored by the Jerusalem Post and the Khaleej Times and held in Dubai.

He said that when he first came to the Emirates, "people brought cake" when they greeted him. They sat and talked "out of happiness," he described.

The recent war with Hamas did not diminish the desire for interaction, Na'eh said, adding that people want to hear the Israeli point of view on what happened. "They wanted to listen, even when they did not agree. It was important to at least have a chance to hear each other."

Na'eh said that relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates "can withstand any challenge."

He further noted that "the two countries have signed an economic agreement, and others will follow it." He said the foundation has now been laid for the private sector in the two countries to flourish in cooperation.

"When it comes to the UAE, Israelis are voting with their feet," he said. He added that in December alone, 85,000 Israelis visited Dubai. "We will see more Israelis coming here. The fact that nothing hurts relations is the best sign of what we are building here. Israelis can come here, and soon, with the removal of Covid-19 restrictions, the citizens of the Emirates will be able to visit Israel," he concluded.

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