The Israel Air Force has held talks with officials in the U.A.E. over conducting joint training exercises, seen as a result of thawing relations between the two countries after signing the Abraham Accords last year.
This week, Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Nurkin returned from a first and historic visit to Dubai in the U.A.E. During his visit, he participated in the Air Force Commanders' Conference and the International Air Exhibition. Major General Nurkin was joined by Col. L., Chief of Staff Training and Col. D., head of the Air Force's Defense Directorate.
The U.A.E. Air Force Commander, General Ibrahim Nasser Muhammad al-Alwi visited Israel about a month ago as part of the international "Blue Flag" exercise.
"The two areas in which we believe that Israel and the United Arab Emirates can cooperate are the area of air training and the area of defense," Col. D commented.
"We are two countries in the Middle East facing similar challenges and common enemies," he details. "Our vision is to create a regional cooperation in the Middle East that will connect all the countries, so that they can better protect themselves from the common threat that undermines stability in the region. Israel is seen as a world leader in its defense capabilities and many countries want to learn from us. They learn from us and we learn from them."
“As part of the trip, we agreed on the establishment of teams that will build our joint training program next year,” reveals Col. L.
"Joint training promotes further cooperation," adds Col.D.
Israel-U.A.E. ties have expanded in technologically-sensitive fields in the year since the signing of Abraham Accords, a deal brokered by the United States of America. For instance, the two countries signed a historic space exploration cooperation agreement at the 2020 Expo Dubai in October and will collaborate on the “Beresheet II” mission destined for the Moon.
This year’s edition of the Dubai Airshow also saw the participation of several Israeli companies including Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Rafael and Elbit Systems, a first.