Israeli, Emirati ambassadors share table at US event
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer on Wednesday evening shared a table with United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart Yousef al-Otaiba at a public event in Washington, according to an Israeli press report.
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The two diplomats sat together at an annual dinner held by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), an influential pro-Israel think-tank.
According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the seating arrangement reflected the “warm ties” between the two countries.
“It is rare for officials from Arab states that don’t have formal ties with Israel to be seen in public with Israeli officials,” the newspaper reported, going on to note that Egypt’s ambassador to the U.S. -- Yasser Reda -- had also sat at the same table.
UAE officials have not commented on al-Otaiba’s participation in the event.
According to Haaretz, both al-Otaiba and Dermer enjoy considerable influence in Washington due to their close ties with Trump administration officials.
Both ambassadors represent governments that “share a common hostility toward Iran and its proxies in the Middle East”, the newspaper asserted.
As it currently stands, Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries that maintain formal relations with the self-proclaimed Jewish state.
The rest, including the UAE, reject normalization with Israel -- on paper at least -- due to the latter’s continued occupation of Arab land captured in 1967.