ISRAEL - Two Major Arab Visits

Arno Froese

Jerusalem has hosted two significant first-time visitors: the Egyptian Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Tarak Al-Mulla and the newly minted Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja. 

It might be assumed that since Egypt has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1979, its ministerial visit would be routine, but this has not previously been the case. And of course, Ambassador Al Khaja is the first UAE emissary to Israel, appointed after the signing of the Abraham Accords last year. 

Both visits are thus historic in their way, and point to many opportunities that are presenting themselves as a new normal blossoms in the region—a normalization that for decades has been fostered by Washington and that can be critical to the post-COVID-19 economic recovery for the region and beyond.

Egypt has been consuming the lion’s share of its natural gas domestically, but the increased supply from Israel as Egypt’s massive Zohr field comes online will mean exports are once again possible. With ENI Oil operating Damietta, and Shell operating Idku, Egypt has strong industry partners.

After the standard meetings with the Israeli president, prime minister and senior Foreign Ministry officials, the ambassador’s schedule included meetings with the regional cooperation minister, tourism minister, and the director general of the science and technology ministry, all of which were quickly publicized on Twitter in English, Arabic and Hebrew, along with photographs.

Minister Al-Mullah’s and Ambassador Al Khaja’s trail-blazing visits to Jerusalem points the way to a brighter future in which the arrival of the Egyptian petroleum minister and an ambassador from a Gulf nation in Israel for high-level consultations and cooperation will be routine events in a more peaceful and prosperous Middle East. It is only to be hoped that the United States will have a seat at this new table as well., 7 March 2021

Arno's Commentary

While the peace treaty signed with Egypt in 1979 resulted in the ending of hostilities, the desired goal has not been reached as far as geopolitical advancement. 

Now, with Israel a leading high-tech country and the immense natural gas resources in the Mediterranean, these Arab countries are finding that a closer relationship is simply a must. Israel can no longer be ignored or treated as an enemy of Arab states.

What is the future? We understand that it will lead to Israel’s fuller integration with the family of nations the world over. It fulfills Israel’s desire as expressed in the Proclamation of Independence of 14 May 1948: “It is, moreover, the self-evident right of the Jewish people to be a nation, as all other nations, in its own sovereign state…We appeal to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building of its state and admit Israel into the family of nations.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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