‘Thrilled to have you’: UAE welcomes American Jewish advocacy group

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The American Jewish Committee (AJC) advocacy group said it has opened an office in the United Arab Emirates, its first in the Arab region, in a move welcomed by the Gulf state’s foreign minister to promote dialog.

The UAE and Bahrain established ties with Israel last year in US-brokered deals called the Abraham Accords.

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“We are thrilled to have you,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan told the group’s virtual annual global forum on Monday. “Your presence in the UAE is ... part of changing mindsets.”

Sheikh Abdullah and his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif Al-Zayani reiterated that the accords, which Sudan and Morocco have also signed, aimed to help bring lasting peace and prosperity through cooperation in fields such as technology and health.

“We have to be tolerant to thrive ... in a challenging neighborhood,” the Emirati minister said.

He said the global effort to “challenge extremism and radical ideas has not been appropriate”.

The UAE has pressed on with plans to further ties with Israel, despite Israel-Hamas hostilities last month.

Sheikh Abdullah said finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would require “strategic” thinking on both sides.

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