UAE: Israeli Embassy Hosts First Independence Day Celebrations In Abu Dhabi

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Fri 5 May 2023, 7:23 PM

Last updated: Fri 5 May 2023, 8:59 PM

Marking yet another milestone for the Abraham Accords, the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi hosted Israel's first-ever Independence Day celebrations in the UAE.

Amir Hayek, the first Israeli Ambassador to the UAE, noted that the ties between the countries have been growing with trade expected to hit a record $3 billion by the end of 2023.

“In the past three months of trade, i.e., the first quarter of 2023, we reached $783 million. It shows that if we continue this way, we will pass $3 billion this year, which is as we are planning but not as we want. We want much more, both countries. And then I believe that with hard work, we will be there,” Hayek told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the 75th Independence Day reception.

Last year, the bilateral trade reached $2.56 billion. According to Hayek, the numbers, excluding software, in the first three months of 2023, have hit $783 million, at an increase of more than 62 per cent compared to the same period of last year when it was $482.7 million.

Asked about the impact of the UAE-Israel Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa), which came into effect on April 1, the ambassador said it has been making things easier for companies.

“We'll see the numbers in the coming month and the effect of Cepa on the trade figures. But not only on trade, Cepa is covering government procurement, know-how, cooperation, and many aspects of the economy. And it's a tool that both countries and its people and business community will use in order to extend our relations.”

Hayek said that both the countries will continue to explore new avenues to push growth.

“We will see cooperation in areas of renewable energy, water desalination, food tech, agro technology, medical devices, medical equipment, telemedicine, communication, transportation. Actually, both countries are heading forward, full steam ahead. And we have no one minute to lose. We are working together with our Emirati partners in order to show success in those relations. We are on the right track.”


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The ambassador is sporting the COP28 official wristband. Asked about Israel's role in the climate change summit, Hayek assured full government support to make the much-anticipated event a success.

“Israel is fully committed to help in anything, and in any way we can to the success of COP28,” he said, extending full support to the country and COP28 UAE President Designate Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber.

Amir Hayek.

He underlined that relationship is like a startup that is poised to become a unicorn.

“This relation, thanks to the leadership from both countries, is a startup that will be a unicorn. And I recommend countries all over the world to follow up on what's going on here, and to be on the train because the train has already left the station. And I strongly recommend other countries to join us.”

The ambassador said that Israel has“strong desire” to expand the Abrahamic Accord to other countries, and add more agreements in the region.

Meanwhile, more than 600 guests attended the Independence Day reception, including UAE's Minister of State Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, alongside government officials, members of the UAE's diplomatic corps, business representatives, Rabbis and leaders of the Jewish community in the UAE.

“This is a special occasion. It's the first Israeli national day here. For us, it's a very important day. And we would like to salute the leaders of the United Arab Emirates,” Hayek added.


Khaleej Times

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