UAE Pours Cold Water on Possible Netanyahu Visit Before Election

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Former UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash at a meeting for the GCC, Arab and Islamic summits in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2019.
Former UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash at a meeting for the GCC, Arab and Islamic summits in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2019.Credit: Waleed Ali / Reuters

The United Arab Emirates "will not be a part of any internal electioneering in Israel, now or ever," former Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said on Wednesday, pouring cold water on reports of a planned visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a tweet, the former minister stated that "from the UAE’s perspective, the purpose of the Abrahamic Accords is to provide a robust strategic foundation to foster peace and prosperity with the State of Israel and in the wider region," rather than interfering in inernal elections.

According to reports by Israel Hayom newspaper and The Jerusalem Post, the visit was scheduled to take place on Thursday.

Netanyahu was set to make his first official visit to the UAE last Thursday since the two countries agreed to normalize ties, but Jordan did not approve the flight path of Netanyahu's plane in time. A day earlier, Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah canceled a planned visit to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound over a dispute regarding security arrangements at the site.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi told CNN that Jordan is "angry" with Israel over the canceled Jerusalem visit.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly ordered Israel’s airspace closed to flights from Jordan last week after the kingdom stalled its approval of his planned flight through Jordanian airspace to the United Arab Emirates.

According to Israeli journalist Ben Caspit, Transportation Ministry officials opposed the order and delayed its implementation, and it was ultimately canceled before it affected any scheduled flights from Jordan.

This marked the fourth time Netanyahu's historic visit to the UAE, which would have been the first since the Gulf state established diplomatic ties with Israel, was canceled.

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