The Israeli Foreign Ministry announced  on Thursday that Israel will take part in the World Expo 2020 to be held in Dubai, in another sign of warming relations with the United Arab Emirates.
“We are excited about the opportunity to share the spirit of Israeli innovation and entrepreneurship and to present breakthrough Israeli technologies and innovations in various fields such as water, medicine and information,” the statement read.
Expo 2020 said that 192 countries have announced their participation in the event with the Paris-based global body, confirming that Israel was among the invitees. “We have invited every country in the world without exception,” organizers in Dubai announced, saying it would be “a truly international event.”
The innovation fair, which runs from October 20, 2020 to April 20, 2021, is set to attract some 25 million visitors to the emirate.
Expo 2020 is the latest in the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions’ (BIE) “universal expositions.” Vicente G. Loscertales, head of the BIE, said that “by inviting all countries of the world to take part, including the State of Israel, the organizers of Expo 2020 are genuinely reflecting the universal spirit of World Expos.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented, saying, “I welcome Israel’s participation in the Expo in Dubai, which is another expression of Israel’s rising status in the world and in the region.”
The U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, praised the UAE for continuing “to welcome & include all” countries. “Thank you to our great friend and ally #UAE for this continued momentum,” he tweeted.
While Israel and the UAE have no formal diplomatic ties, the increased threat posed by Iranian expansion in the region has led some Gulf monarchies to engage with the Jewish State.
In October 2018, Benjamin Netanyahu became the first Israeli prime minister to visit Oman in more than 20 years. That same month, Israel’s Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev paid an historic visit to the UAE to watch the Israeli delegation compete at the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam.
[Photo: Christopher Schulz / GoodFreePhotos]