Bennett with UAE Foreign Minister
Bennett with UAE Foreign Minister Haim Zach/GPO

Ahead of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's meetings with officials in United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday, a source in Bennett's entourage said the dialogue will focus on opportunities to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.

According to the source, the UAE has expressed a special interest in the Prime Minister's business background in the high-tech world and in Israeli innovation in general.

Bennett will meet with the Emirati Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, and discuss with him the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries in a number of areas, with an emphasis on trade relations.

He will also meet the Minister of Technology and the Minister of Culture of the UAE and later with the Chairman of the Mubadala Investment Company.

The source in Bennett’s entourage said on Sunday night that "the Prime Minister was warmly received at the airport in Abu Dhabi by the Foreign Minister and the younger brother of the Crown Prince, Abdullah bin Zayed. The two held a short meeting, during which the Prime Minister congratulated the Foreign Minister on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the state."

"The two also discussed the importance of religious moderation, and the tolerant line that characterizes the Emirates," he said.

Bennett told the Foreign Minister that he appreciated the hospitality and added it was a splendid welcome. He noted that he was very moved to be in the UAE, on the first official visit by an Israeli leader. He said that he expected to strengthen the network of relations between the two countries.