Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beitenu) arrived in Abu Dhabi Saturday to attend a renewable energy conference, making him the first Israeli minister to visit the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The conference is scheduled to begin on Sunday.
It is unclear whether Landau will meet with representatives from the UAE regime during his stay.
The minister's visit is the result of a decision reached by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), according to which Israel is allowed to participate in all activities organized by the agency's headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
"IRENA was launched as a European initiative with the aim of promoting the production of electricity from renewable energy sources around the world," said Landau.
"Apart from the obvious diplomatic importance a visit by an Israeli minister to this region holds, Israel has a lot to contribute in terms of innovation and development."
According to Landau, "Israel wants to be a key player in the renewable energy field, and this conference is a unique opportunity to advance this goal.
"The fact that I was invited to this conference proves that true regional cooperation surrounding the common interest of developing renewable energy is possible," he said.
Landau's visit to Abu Dhabi is the first by an Israeli minister, but about three months ago two senior Israeli officials – Simona Halperin from the Foreign Ministry and Dr. Avraham Arbiv from the Ministry of National Infrastructures - attended
a different IRENA conference in preparation for the minister's visit.
does not maintain diplomatic relations with the UAE.