Israel, UAE foreign diplomats meet publicly for first time in Africa

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Foreign envoys of the UAE and Israel held a meeting in Nigeria on Sunday, marking the first public meeting between diplomats of the two countries in Africa.

Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria Shimon Ben-Shoshan received UAE Charge d’Affaires in Nigeria Khalifa Al Mehrizi, according to videos and photos posted to social media by the Israeli government.

Ben-Shoshan greeted Al Mehrizi with the Arabic salutation “salaam alaykum,” translated as “peace be upon you” in English.

The two officials were photographed in discussion with Emirati and Israeli flags on a nearby table.

The meeting, believed to be the first time foreign diplomats of the UAE and Israel have convened publicly, follows last week’s historic visit of an Israeli delegation to the UAE capital city Abu Dhabi.

Israeli and Emirati representatives from the fields of finance, health, tourism, investment, foreign policy, diplomacy, tourism, and culture met face-to-face to discuss future collaborations in the various sectors.

The first publicly confirmed in-person meeting of Israeli and Emirati officials, following the establishment of the treaty, occurred last month when UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed bilateral cooperation with Yossi Cohen, head of Israel's foreign intelligence, the Mossad on August 18.

The peace agreement between the two countries, announced on August 13, is expected to be officially signed in Washington in the next two weeks.

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