A senior Emirati policy analyst said Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has “embarrassed” Arab leaders and that no additional states are likely to sign normalization agreements with Israel in the near term.
“The latest government in Israel will not kill the Abraham Accords, the signatories will not pull out, but we will not have other signatories.
We were looking to engage more from the Arab world and the non-Arab world… [but] the latest government is putting everybody off,” Dr. Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, the founder and president of the Emirates Policy Center said at the Herzliya Conference at Israel’s Reichman University.
“My government and the other signatories are embarrassed in front of the Arab people, and they have to say something. And they want a solution for that because they invested heavily in the Abraham Accords,” she added.
One of Netanyahu’s main diplomatic goals is to strike a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia, the biggest country in the region, and to expand a regional alliance to buck the influence of Iran.
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“It’s a big loss for Israel when the Saudis side with Iran,” Dr. Ebtesam Al-Ketbi told former lawmaker and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Ksenia Svetlova.
“Normalization with Israel will create an arc of prosperity and no more conflict in the region,” she said.
On Monday, Netanyahu and Israeli President Isaac Herzog were invited by the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Israel to the UN’s international climate conference, which is scheduled for November in Dubai.
It is not yet known which of the two will represent Israel at the conference.
Netanyahu had planned to visit the UAE shortly after his government was sworn in, but the visit was postponed to an unknown date after National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir went up to the Temple Mount/Al Aqsa Mosque compound in a move widely deemed provocative in the first week of the government’s tenure.
Herzog visited the UAE last year, the first visit by an Israeli president to the country after the signing of the Abraham Accords.
If Netanyahu attends the conference, it will be his first visit to the UAE as prime minister.
Participation in the international climate conference, to which leaders from all over the world will be invited, is fundamentally different from a separate political visit by the prime minister.
Naftali Bennett visited the country twice as prime minister during his one-year term in office, and made another visit to the country as a former prime minister about two months ago.