UAE Foreign Minister Op-Ed: 'Peace. Shalom. Salaam.'
Just two weeks ago, the first Israeli commercial airline flight landed in Abu Dhabi from Tel Aviv. Along with a large delegation of Israeli officials and media, it carried a bigger message. It was written in two-foot high letters in three languages on the side of the El Al aircraft: Peace. Shalom. Salaam.
Normalizing ties between United Arab Emirates and Israel is a historic diplomatic breakthrough and a hopeful signal that progress in the Middle East is possible. Strengthened further with the addition of Bahrain, it resets outmoded thinking and reorders the strategic approach to tackling the region’s challenges. In an area and era all too rife with bad news, it elevates opportunity and optimism over conflict and defeatism.
In a difficult year in a difficult region, the peace accord is a bright starting point for the Middle East’s future. The U.A.E. and Israel are off to an energetic beginning with cooperation on the coronavirus and technology, space and energy, investment and food security. Emirati young people are learning Hebrew. U.A.E. universities will begin accepting Israeli students. Regular flights will start next year. These and thousands of other small and large steps will carry the message of peace, shalom and salaam throughout the region.