Israel to participate in Dubai’s 2020 World Expo

April 29, 2019 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel will participate in the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Dubai

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Thursday that he “welcomed” the development, which “is another expression of the rising status of Israel in the world and the region.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated that the Jewish state “looks forward to sharing our innovative spirit and the advances our entrepreneurs and innovators are making in the various fields such as water, information and medical technologies.”

“Expos are global gatherings where people from around the world come together to celebrate ingenuity and apply it to shared challenges. We are excited to be a part of that common endeavor,” it added.

The Dubai Expo, the largest event ever staged in the Arab world, is set to welcome 190 participating countries and millions of visitors from across the globe.

The Expo “aspires to create a meaningful legacy that will benefit generations to come, both locally and globally, spanning everything from innovations and architecture to friendships and business opportunities.”

The organizers hope their event will attract approximately 25 million visitors between October 2020 and April 2021.

Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi have no diplomatic ties and the UAE does not recognize Israel but the two sides have increased backchannel cooperation in recent years. Israel established a diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi as part of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2015.

There have been several reports of secret contacts between the two countries, mostly on security and counter-terrorism issues. Iran is perceived by both countries as a significant regional threat.

In March 2018, Netanyahu reportedly met and shook hands with Emirati ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba.

Israel has also participated in multinational aerial exercises with the UAE.

Speaking about Israel’s evolving diplomatic status in the Middle East, Netanyahu said in December 2018 that “a great change has been created here. The Arab world needs technology and innovation. It needs water, electricity, medical care and high-tech. There is a growing connection between Israeli companies and the Israeli world.”

He explained that “what is happening at the moment is that we are in a process of normalization with the Arab world without progress in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.”

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