Israeli FM visits UAE capital for UN climate conference

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JERUSALEM, July 1 (Xinhua) — Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz has visited Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to attend a UN climate conference, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Kats, who arrived in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, met with a UAE senior official over bilateral relations and the issue of Iran, a ministry statement said.

He also met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the statement added.

“This is yet another upgrade in Israel’s relations with the countries in the region and a major goal for our diplomacy,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said on Twitter.

Israel and the UAE do not have diplomatic relations, as the latter does not officially recognize Israel as a state.

In 2015, Israel opened a diplomatic mission office in Abu Dhabi as part of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

It is the first visit by a senior Israeli official to an Arab country after the U.S.-led workshop in Bahrain on the Palestinian economy last week.

The visit was the latest sign of warming ties between Israel and the Gulf Arab states.

The foreign policy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aims to normalize Israel’s relations with its Arab neighbors without inking a peace deal with the Palestinians.

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