Despite criticism from Muslim countries over the conflict in Gaza, the United Arab Emirates intends to uphold diplomatic relations with Israel, official sources told Reuters on Sunday.
The report stated that in addition to the maintaining of mutual ambassadors, the Middle Eastern nation feels that it can exert a moderating influence on its neighboring countries in order to ensure a rapprochement with Israel when the hostilities end.
UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the first Arab leader that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to after the Oct. 7 massacre of civilians in southern Israel. Reports indicate that during the phone call the two leaders agreed to maintain contact.
UAE officials have publicly criticized some of Israel’s actions during the campaign in Gaza and have repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire.
The government in Abu Dhabi joined Bahrain in August of 2020 to inaugurate the Abraham Accords, establishing diplomatic relations with Jerusalem. Since then, Morocco and Sudan have also enacted formal associations with the Jewish state.
In the three years since normalization, Israel and the UAE have forged economic and security bonds, including collaboration in defense. Following missile and drone attacks on Abu Dhabi in 2022 by the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, Israel provided the UAE with air defense systems.