Service :
09 January 2019 - 16:49
News ID: 442914
Israeli politician and the leader of the opposition Israeli Labor Party, Avi Gabbay, has reportedly paid a secret visit to the United Arab Emirates and discussed various regional issues with three senior Emirati officials, as a number of Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region are warming their relations with the Tel Aviv regime after clandestine contacts.

RNA - Gabbay secretly visited Abu Dhabi last month, and exchanged viewpoints on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US President Donald Trump's "deal of the century", the so-called Arab Peace Initiative, Iran’s regional clout as well as political developments in the occupied territories with the trio, Israel’s Channel 10 television network reported.

The three Emirati officials, whom the Israeli opposition politician held talks with are believed to be ministers or even higher-ranked officials.

The report added that Gabbay was accompanied on his visit, which took place between December 2 and 4 last year, by former journalist Henrique Cymerman.

Gabbay was said to have flown to Abu Dhabi on a commercial flight via the Jordanian capital city of Amman. He was protected by local security forces during his visit.

He reportedly updated the director of Israel's Mossad spy agency, Yossi Cohen, on the content of his meetings immediately upon return to Israel.

The visit was reportedly coordinated via a Moroccan national, who has ties with senior Emirati officials and has previously arranged other meetings for Gabbay with senior Arab officials.

Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz visited Oman on November 4 last year to attend an international transport conference and pitch a railway project that would link the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean via the Israeli-occupied territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late November 2018 visited Oman, where he met Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said at the Bait al-Barakah Royal Palace in the coastal city of Seeb near the capital Muscat.

Israel’s English-language daily newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported that the two men had discussed ways to advance the so-called Middle East peace process as well as mattes of mutual interest with regard to the region’s stability.

Netanyahu was accompanied by senior officials, including the head of the Mossad spy agency and his national security adviser.

Netanyahu's unpublicized visit to Oman came on the same day that Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev traveled to the UAE to accompany Israel’s judo team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018.

Regev arrived in Abu Dhabi on October 26, and she participated in the opening ceremony of the international event at the Emirati capital’s Zayed Sports City, Palestinian Arabic-language Ma’an news agency reported.

Her visit to the UAE marked the first of its kind by an Israeli minister to a Persian Gulf littoral state.

Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi have no diplomatic ties and the UAE does not recognize Israel, but the two sides have increased backchannel cooperation in recent years. There have been numerous reports of growing contacts between Saudi and Israeli officials too.

Among Arab countries, Israel has diplomatic relations only with Egypt and Jordan.

Saudi Arabia has hostile ties with resistance movements in the Palestinian territories, including Hamas which is fighting the Israeli occupation.


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