Israeli Ministers Rush to Arab Capitals

Abu Dhabi -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a rare visit to Amman this week while an Israeli delegation was in UAE to cement ties of the Zionist entity with the Arab states.

Netanyahu was in Jordan for unannounced talks with King Abdullah II on the US-brokered Middle East peace process.

The visit follows US Secretary of State John Kerry's 10th trip to the region, as Washington tries to push Israel and the Palestinians towards an elusive peace deal after decades of conflict and months of deadlocked negotiations.

ISRAELI MINISTER IN UAE Israeli Energy Minister Silvan Shalom attended a meeting Saturday of the International Renewable Energy Agency in the United Arab Emirates, which has no diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

It is the first time Israel has sent a minister to a meeting of IRENA since its foundation in 2009.

"Shalom is representing Israel, which is taking part in the meeting like all the other member states of this international agency," a member of the Israeli delegation told AFP.

He declined to comment on whether Shalom hoped to hold any contacts on the sidelines with Gulf Arab officials.

Israel has quietly been seeking the alliance of Gulf monarchies, which like the Jewish state are concerned over Iran's rising regional power.

In May, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed the Jewish state had allocated a budget for a diplomatic mission in one of the Gulf states, without specifying which.

The UAE hosted an Israeli delegation for the first time in 2003 for a meeting of the International Monetary Fund.

But, unlike fellow Gulf states Oman and Qatar, it has never hosted an Israeli trade office.

Both missions have since been closed -- that in Oman in 2000, and the Qatar one in 2009.

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