Israel agreement ‘not a political treaty, it’s a treaty of coexistence’: UAE official

An official stands at the door of an Israeli El Al airliner after it landed in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on August 31, 2020. (AP)

The agreement between the UAE and Israel is more than just a political treaty between two governments and will endure despite policy differences, according to senior UAE official Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi.

“It’s not a political treaty, it’s a treaty of coexistence. It’s not a treaty between two governments only,” Al Nuaimi said in an interview with the recently launched news network All Arab News.

“We understand there might be political differences [between the countries] …but our vision in the UAE is that we will not let some of our political differences stop us from working hand in hand in the other [areas],” he added.

The remarks come as Emirati and Israeli officials are in talks to set up bilateral agreements that cover a range of sectors including tourism, telecommunications, culture, and healthcare.

UAE’s Minister Anwar Gargash meets in Abu Dhabi with Israel’s head of the National Security Council Meir Ben Shabat. (WAM)

UAE’s Minister Anwar Gargash meets in Abu Dhabi with Israel’s head of the National Security Council Meir Ben Shabat. (WAM)

Last week the UAE abolished a previous law that mandated an economic boycott of Israel and received a delegation of US and Israeli officials on the first direct flight from Israel to the UAE.

‘Better future for the whole region’

The UAE and Israel are “part of one region,” Al Nuaimi said, adding that in the past, both sides were “victim of a narrative that divided us.”

“We feel that the UAE people are ready to make the right move, the next level with the Israeli people, to come together, to try to create a better future for both nations and for the whole region,” said Al Nuaimi, who is the founder and chairman of the World Council of Muslim Communities.

The UAE is home to a thriving Jewish community, which took part in last week’s historic visit of Israeli officials to UAE’s capital city Abu Dhabi.

Al Nuaimi said that both Jewish and Christian peoples have a right to live in the region.

“Jews and Christians - their roots are in this area … they belong here,” he said.

“In the UAE we have many Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, we have Bahais - and they are all living in peace and harmony and enjoying a freedom of worship, of practicing what they believe in,” he added.

Last year the UAE marked its Year of Tolerance, holding events to promote dialogue and coexistence between peoples of different backgrounds, religions, and cultures.

The celebration included the first visit by Pope Francis to the Arabian Peninsula, as well as prominent interfaith meetings that included Jewish rabbis from around the world.

Pope Francis greets Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP)

Pope Francis greets Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Feb. 4, 2019. (AP)

As part of the initiative, the UAE announced the construction of an interfaith complex in the capital Abu Dhabi that will house a Jewish synagogue, a Christian church, and an Islamic mosque.

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Last Update: Sunday, 06 September 2020 KSA 14:27 - GMT 11:27
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