First Israeli Cabinet minister attends international conference in Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi

By Barbara Surk, AP
Sunday, January 17, 2010

First Israeli Cabinet minister visits Abu Dhabi

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Israel for the first time has sent a Cabinet minister for meetings in the United Arab Emirates, a Persian Gulf country that has no diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau says he has not met with Emirati officials while attending a conference of the International Renewable Energy Agency, based in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

The agency’s activities are open to Israel because it is a member state.

An official with the UAE’s Foreign Ministry told The Associated Press that allowing Israel to participate in the agency’s activities was “part of obligations in hosting (the agency) in the UAE.”

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

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