דגלי ישראל ואיחוד האמירויות בנתניה
The Israeli and Emirati national flags hoisted in Netanya
Photo: Reuters
Marc Sievers addresses the AJC Virtual Global Forum 2021, June 7, 2021

UAE welcomes first U.S. Jewish advocacy group in Arab state

American Jewish Committee office in Abu Dhabi headed by veteran American diplomat, will focus on interfaith ties as Emirates presses on with plans to further ties with Israel despite tensions over recent Gaza war

Reuters |
Published: 06.08.21 , 10:05
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 dialogue.
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  • The UAE and Bahrain established ties with Israel last year in U.S.-brokered deals called the Abraham Accords, becoming the first Arab states in more than a quarter century to break what had been a long-standing taboo in the region.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Marc Sievers addresses the AJC Virtual Global Forum 2021, June 7, 2021
    Marc Sievers addresses the AJC Virtual Global Forum 2021, June 7, 2021
    Marc Sievers addresses the AJC Virtual Global Forum 2021, June 7, 2021
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    "We are thrilled to have you," Foreign Minister 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."
    (AJC unveils its new Abu Dhabi office)
    AJC Abu Dhabi: The Sidney Lerner Center for Arab-Jewish Understanding is headed by State Department veteran Marc Sievers, who in his almost four decades as a diplomat served in multiple Middle Eastern countries, including Israel, Morocco, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
    The AJC said its new office will, among other things, promote Arab-Jewish and Muslim-Jewish ties, fight anti-Semitism and work with Jewish communities in the region.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Ahmed Al Mansuri, founder of Crossroads of Civilization private museum, passes by a painting presenting UAE and Israel friendship at an exhibition commemorating the Jewish Holocaust in Dubai
    Ahmed Al Mansuri, founder of Crossroads of Civilization private museum, passes by a painting presenting UAE and Israel friendship at an exhibition commemorating the Jewish Holocaust in Dubai
    Ahmed Al-Mansuri, founder of Crossroads of Civilization museum, walks by a painting representing UAE-Israeli friendship at a Dubai exhibition commemorating the Holocaust
    (Photo: AP)
    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, which distrusts Islamist groups, does not allow political parties and shows little tolerance towards dissent. Local media is tightly controlled.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    L-R) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates; and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Bahrain
    L-R) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates; and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Bahrain
    L-R: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani attend the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House, Sept. 2020
    (Photo: EPA)
    The regional trade and tourism hub has pressed on with plans to further ties with Israel, though with less fanfare following Israel-Hamas hostilities last month and what Arab states have described as Israeli provocations in Jerusalem.
    Sheikh Abdullah said finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would require "strategic" thinking on both sides.
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