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UAE official: We aspire to see more Israelis at Dubai Expo

The UAE threw a big party to mark 2 years until Dubai hosts #Expo2020! [Christopher Pike/Getty Images]
An event to mark to mark 2 years till Dubai hosts Expo 2020, 7 November 2018 [Christopher Pike/Getty Images]

An Emirati official said that she hopes to see many Israelis participating in Expo Dubai, scheduled for early October 2021.

Speaking during an interview conducted by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Hind Al-Otaiba, director of Strategic Communication at the UAE Foreign Ministry, described the normalisation agreement announced on Thursday between the Emirates and Israel as "historic", noting that the UAE "is eager to make progress regarding the opening of embassies and the issuing of reciprocal working visas.

"We hope to see many Israelis in 2021 at the Dubai Expo, since Israel has already confirmed its participation," she stated.

Expo 2020 Dubai was postponed from October 2020 to October 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In April 2019, Israel announced its participation in the exhibition, which is designed to present the achievements of nations every five years.

When Al-Otaiba was asked about the turning point that led to the normalisation agreement, the Emirati official said that "annexation has caused major concern. We considered that it would destroy the prospects of the two-state solution".

READ: Suspending annexation will not cleanse UAE crown prince's sins

She underlined that bring an end to annexation is "extremely important for the Emirates."

On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.

Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv's planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic of other ties with the occupation state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, said that his government is committed to carrying out the annexation plan.

Israeli Finance Minister Yisrael Katz said yesterday that the annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank was already suspended before the announcement of a deal to normalise relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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