UAE minister denies plans to normalize relations with Israel: report

Photo: UAE minister denies plans to normalize relations with Israel: report / Arab World

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said Sunday the participation of an Israeli minister in an ongoing meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi dose not mark a turning point in his country's non-existing diplomatic ties with Israel, Xinhua reported.

The UAE minister reacted to media speculations that the attendance of Israeli Energy Minister Silvan Shalom at the two-day fourth IRENA assembly in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, which started on Saturday, would signal an imminent normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel, according to local daily Gulf News.

Gargash said the UAE would only establish diplomatic ties with Israel if full peace in the Middle East was reached.

"The UAE has been able, through a delicate balance, to differentiate between Israel's membership in IRENA and the normalization of bilateral ties with Tel Aviv which Israel has been seeking," Gargash said through his Twitter account.

He added that the UAE "will not rush into a free normalization with Israel, like some countries did," calling the media claims as part of "another smear campaign" against the Gulf state, a major oil supplier.

Israel is a member of the IRENA which comprises 165 member states.

The IRENA was founded in 2009 and headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

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