Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid landed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) today, in what has been called an historic visit as the first official trip by a senior Israeli minister to the Gulf state.
After landing at Abu Dhabi airport this morning, the alternate prime minister and foreign minister stated on his Twitter account that he is "Making history: Proud to represent the State of Israel on its first official visit to the United Arab Emirates. Thanks for the warm welcome."
In the picture he posted, he can be seen descending from the El Al plane and being welcomed by a small delegation led by an Emirati diplomat.
עושים היסטוריה: גאה לייצג את מדינת ישראל בביקור רשמי ראשון באיחוד האמירויות. תודה על קבלת הפנים החמה. 🇮🇱 🇦🇪
نصنع التاريخ: فخور بتمثيل دولة إسرائيل في أول زيارة رسمية إلى الإمارات العربية المتحدة. شكرا على الترحيب الحار pic.twitter.com/sxVXPYcghQ
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid🟠 (@yairlapid) June 29, 2021
One of those who welcomed Lapid at the airport was the head of the mission of the Israeli embassy in the UAE, who also tweeted: "30 years as a diplomat, but to see the blue and white (Israeli colours) here at the Abu Dhabi airport, whilst waiting for the minister of foreign affairs to land — is exciting!"
As part of his visit, Lapid is set to inaugurate the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Israeli consulate in Dubai.
Although other Israeli officials and ministers have previously visited the UAE, Lapid is the most senior minister to visit Tel Aviv's new ally.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had planned to visit the UAE in March, but that trip was cancelled reportedly over a dispute with Jordan regarding the use of its airspace for the trip.