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UAE, Israel officials meet in Los Angeles for first bilateral West Coast meeting

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UAE and Israeli officials held a bilateral meeting in Los Angeles on Sunday, believed to be the first diplomatic meeting between the two countries on America’s West Coast.

Emirati Consul General of Los Angeles Hazza Alkaabi met in-person with Israeli Consul General Hillel Newman at the UAE office in California.

The two discussed opportunities for cooperation and partnership, according to a statement by the UAE consulate.

Alkaabi also met virtually with Israel’s Consul General to the Pacific Northwest Shlomi Kofman, according to the consulate.

The UAE and Israel announced plans to normalize ties on August 13 and an official signing ceremony took place at the White House on September 15.

One week after the ceremony, ambassadors of the UAE and Israel made history when they held a meeting in Arabic, a native language of both officials.

Israel’s ambassador to Azerbaijan George Deek and the acting Emirati ambassador to Azerbaijan met September 22 in the capital city of Baku.

Deek, an Israeli Arab, told Al Arabiya English that holding the meeting with his Emirati counterpart in the Arabic language demonstrated “that we are neighbors.”

Israeli and Emirati ambassadors meet in Azerbaijan. (Twitter)
Israeli and Emirati ambassadors meet in Azerbaijan. (Twitter)

“The fact that we spoke in Arabic demonstrated that we are neighbors, part of the same space, and that Israel and the Arab world can, and will work together, in dialogue and mutual respect, towards promoting a world that is safer, more prosperous, and more peaceful,” said Deek.

Foreign envoys of the UAE and Israel in Nigeria also made history last month when they met, 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.

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.

UAE official Khalifa Al Mehrizi, left, with Israeli official Shimon Ben-Shoshan, right, in Nigeria. (Twitter)
UAE official Khalifa Al Mehrizi, left, with Israeli official Shimon Ben-Shoshan, right, in Nigeria. (Twitter)

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