Photo: Reuters, Flash90

Netanyahu to visit UAE

[This article has been updated to reflect the postponement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned visit to the UAE, due to Israel’s coronavirus national lockdown].

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to pay a three-hour visit next week to the United Arab Emirates next week.

He also revealed that he would also “possibly make a lightning visit to Bahrain” during the brief trip.

While the Israeli leader declined to provide specific dates of his itinerary, local media reported he would travel on 9 February.

Israel signed agreements brokered by the United States to formalize relations with both Gulf nations at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in September 2020.

In remarks streamed live on his Twitter page, Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that the visit have been postponed twice due to national lockdowns in Israel aimed at curbing the coronavirus; the third of which is still in effect after being extended two times.

He also said his visit to Abu Dhabi had been shortened from “three days to three hours” due to the pandemic, despite “the great security, national and international importance” of his intended discussions.