When I Become Next President, I Will End Insecurity In Kaduna – Saraki

 

Presidential Aspirant, Bukola Saraki pledges to fight insecurity if elected as Nigeria’s President.

 

A presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said that he would end insecurity in Kaduna when he becomes the next president of Nigeria.

Dr. Saraki stated this on Sunday when he met with PDP Delegates and Leaders in Kaduna State.

At the meeting, the former Senate President stressed that without security, communities cannot develop.

“This is why, when I met with the PDP Delegates and Leaders in Kaduna State today, I pledged that with their support, when I become the next President of Nigeria, I will end the insecurity in Kaduna, across the North West, and all-around Nigeria,” Saraki declared.

Saraki visits Kaduna, seeks support from residents.

 

He added that “once upon a time, people could safely drive, fly by plane, and take the train from Kaduna to other states. Today, with the insecurity around Kaduna, traveling to and from the state has become dangerous and quite tedious.

“Therefore, I will ensure that we deploy the latest tools, equipment, and technology to bring an end to banditry and terrorism across the nation.”

For Dr. Saraki, security is a major focus of his presidential campaign. Only recently, the former lawmaker condemned the Federal Government’s handling of the security situation in the country.

According to him, the inability to hold anyone accountable is responsible for the country’s continuous security challenges.

He emphasized that the nation at this moment does not have the luxury of sending just anybody to the Villa and as such, only one with proven competence such as himself deserves to take the reins to come 2023.

2023: In Two Years, Nigerians Will See The Effect If I Am Given Presidential Ticket – Ngige

File photo of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige

 

Senator Chris Ngige believes he has the capacity to turn the country’s fortunes for good, insisting that if he wins the presidential race in 2023, two years would be enough to do that.

“If my party gives me the ticket, many Nigerians know that Chris Ngige is the round peg for the round hole of Nigeria. I will fit in, and in two years, only two years, you would see the effect of my governance,” the Labour and Employment Minister said when he featured on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

According to him, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the major challenger against his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), he is confident that the ruling party will win the 2023 polls.

READ ALSO: Suspension Of Strike ‘Depends On ASUU’, Says Ngige

He argued that the APC has been winning most of the bye-elections across the country, saying it is an indication that it is the party to beat in the next general elections.

“Have you looked at the INEC bye-elections results in the last 18 months? My party is constantly winning elections because the people know. Don’t think that these people you see in the rural areas don’t know what is going on in the country. They know!” he said on Thursday.

“PDP is our main challenger but we shall win them. They have always been challenging us,” the former governor maintained.

The minister said he has the qualities to lead Nigeria, recalling his years of public service. As far as he is concerned, his loyalty to the ruling party is also a critical factor that puts him in good stead to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

“If you look at it, I am a two-time minister which means I started with the administration in 2015 and then I was reappointed,” Ngige argued.

“So, I have passed through the crucibles so to say as a member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC). So, the government programmes, Vis-à-vis the manifesto of our party, the APC, are known to me.”

His comments followed his declaration for the presidential seat earlier in the week. He joins a growing list of top politicians that have formally declared their intentions to contest for the post in next year’s polls.

Burkina Ex-President Moved To Home After House Arrest

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 27, 2004 President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, listens during a press conference at the end of the Sommet de la Francophonie in Ouagadougou.
Issouf SANOGO / AFP

 

Former Burkina Faso president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, whose future became a major issue after he was toppled in a coup in January, has been moved from house arrest to his home in the capital Ouagadougou, an AFP journalist saw on Thursday.

Late Wednesday, the military-led government said in a statement that after three weeks of “consultations,” Kabore would return to his home.

“The government gives an assurance that measures have been taken to provide his security,” it said in a statement.

Several troops were on guard outside Kabore’s home on Thursday, while a few sightseers tried to catch a glimpse of the former president.

READ ALSO: Burkina Faso Ex-President Bags Life Sentence For Sankara Killing

It was not immediately clear whether he was free in his movements.

Kabore was ousted on January 24 by officers disgruntled at his handling of a nearly seven-year-old jihadist insurgency that has claimed some 2,000 lives and forced 1.8 million people to flee their homes.

The junta, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, placed him under house arrest — a move condemned by Burkina’s neighbours in West Africa, which with the UN and African Union demanded his release.

AFP

I Am Prepared To Be President For Better Nigeria, Wike Declares

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike made an appearance on Channels Television's Politics Today on March 28, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike made an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on March 28, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, says he is fully prepared for the assignment of being the President of Nigeria because he has the capacity to address lingering issues of insecurity and poor national economy.

Governor Wike maintained Nigerians can no longer resign to fate, suffer the pains of harsh economy and wanton killings under the watch of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government.

He made those remarks when a group, the Northern Progressives Elements and Friends of Wike, in Abuja, presented the purchased Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms to him on Tuesday to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Read Also: 2023 Presidency: I Am Ready To Take Power From APC – Wike

The governor stated that it was time to save the country from the intractable lies of the APC led Federal Government that is completely bereft of governance.
Governor Wike emphasised that both Nigerians and the PDP do not need persons that will chicken out when intimidated by the APC in the build up to the 2023 general election.

“They have tried it with me. They know that they can never succeed. They did it in Rivers State, we said no, it will never work. And it didn’t work. If you give us the ticket, go home and sleep.”

Governor Wike pointed to how the APC has failed woefully on a continuous basis in addressing economy concerns of Nigerians. According to him, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) boasts of how much it is spending to boost agriculture without visible impact and availability of food.

“Where is the food? Because if you have invested in agriculture we should be seeing the result. Instead of people to eat, people are dying every day. Who are they deceiving?

“We took oath of office to protect life and property. If we cannot protect life and property, there is no governance. You’re talking about food; agriculture.

“How can you talk about agriculture when people cannot go to farm. How can you talk of improving the economy when investors have lost confidence in the country?”

The Rivers State governor said God has given him the wisdom, good health and it was time to utilise them to wrest power from the APC and tackle the numerous challenges facing the country.

“But it is a task that is surmountable with commitment and passion. By the special grace of God, with your support, we shall surmount the problems facing Nigeria.

“Let me tell PDP people, just like the former deputy national chairman said, we cannot just stay at home and be praying to God to dash us power, no. God has given us the capacity. We must use that capacity and take over the power.”

Governor Wike thanked the Northern Progressives Elements and Friends of Wike for presenting him with the forms and calling on him to contribute his quota to salvaging the country.

He assured that with their help, he will do his best possible in salvaging Nigeria under the platform of Peoples Democratic party (PDP).

Senator Sulieman Nazif, who presented the forms to Governor Wike on behalf of the Northern Progressives Elements, explained that they decided to pool their resources together to purchase the forms because of their belief in the governor’s love for the country.

“Nigerians are in dire need of a leader that can show courage, a leader that take them to the promise land and that leader is no other person other than His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike. As we present to you this form, we will be by you, stand you. Wherever you stand, you will find all of us around you, so that you can seize and collect that power, and bring that power back to the PDP.”

The governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde thanked all who contributed their resources to purchase the forms for the Rivers State governor.

He maintained that Nigeria at this point needs a leader that is energetic and not people that are tired and lack the direction to salvage the country.

“If you look at places around the world, energy and drive is something that you cannot wish away. He is also of the right age and in terms of intellect and commitment to a united, progressive Nigeria, he is also there. So, we are moving in the right direction.

“Well, I will say to others that may also want to purchase their own forms, they are free to collect their forms. They are free to tell us who they are, what they have achieved and their plan for Nigeria. You may not like his (Wike’s) style but there are certain things that are very clear. Is he committed to a united Nigeria, does he have the intellectual capacity for this job, does he have the drive. So you can collect your form if you wish. But for us, we are desirous of a new Nigeria.”

On his part, former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, Fayose commended the group and friends of Wike for their kind gesture and declared that, “Nigeria is at the verge of return to new Nigeria.”

Rotational Presidency: PDP Did Not Produce Obasanjo Because Of Zoning – Mukhtar Shagari

A photo combination of Mukhtar Shagari and the PDP emblem.

 

A founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Mukhtar Shagari, has said that the recent rhetoric about zoning, which is hinged upon the emergence of President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, is totally unfounded.

Ahead of the 2023 presidential polls, there have been arguments that the leading political parties in the country must adhere to a certain zoning formula that will see power go to the South.

Proponents of this theory argue that the very reason Obasanjo was handed the PDP mandate when democracy returned in 1999, was due to zoning concessions which have since then played a major role in the decision for who will be given the party’s endorsement. The notion has now gone from being just one party’s internal politics to what many now think should be obtainable across board.

READ ALSOLeaving Presidency Open Without Zoning Is Explosive, Bode George Warns PDP

However, Shagari, who on Sunday was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, begged to differ, arguing the negative, he said the issue of a rotational presidency is just a said show.

According to him, the PDP did not produce Obasanjo because of zoning.
“Obasanjo was brought by the PDP in order to satisfy what has been termed injustice done to the people of Southwest by June 12,” he said.

“The PDP felt that this is the time for us to look at all those issues and heal the wounds; that is why Obasanjo was brought in, he was not brought in for zoning, nobody was talking about zoning at that time.

“We know that people were dissatisfied, Abiola was voted by Nigerians and he was denied the mandate, so we decided that this is the time to heal the wound,” the PDP chieftain.

Shagari, who was a former deputy governor of Sokoto State, further opined that the issue of zoning must at this moment be treated as a side-show which it is, adding that what Nigerians want at this time, is a president that can move the country forward and bring unity amongst the people.

He believes zoning is an agenda pushed by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for fear that they will be ousted from the corridors of power when the next election comes around.

“At the moment, what is happening is that the APC is pushing very strongly the idea of zoning… They are doing this because they have realized that the Nigerian people have left them.

“They have also realized that the Nigerian people are yearning for the PDP to come back to power so that the good old days will come back to the country, the good old days of unity, of development, of inclusiveness, of listening to people and the rest of it,” Shagari argued.

He reiterated that Nigerians are trying to find a government that can take the nation forward, adding that what is important to members of the PDP is winning the forthcoming election, not where the presidential candidate will come from.

2023: Elect Patriotic, Committed Leaders, Okorocha Tells Nigerians

Senator Rochas Okorocha

 

Former Imo State Governor and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Rochas Okorocha, has advised Nigerians to elect leaders that will be committed to the unity, oneness and progress of the country as the election year 2023 approaches.

He said at this critical time in the life of the country, citizens should focus on the ability and track records of the leaders they will elect to occupy political offices in the country.

Okorocha made the comments on Tuesday in Sokoto shortly after condoling with the people and government of the state over the demise of the Magajin Garin Sokoto.

Read Also: Okorocha Formally Declares For Presidency, Says ‘I Will Beat Buhari’s Record’

He described the deceased Magajin Garin Sokoto as a detribalised Nigerian that believed in the unity of the country during his lifetime.

This comes weeks after he officially declared his intention to run for presidency, saying he will beat the record of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Buhari has done well, but he will never wish to be the best. I will beat Buhari’s record a billion times,” Okorcha said.

He stated that the problems of Nigeria are bigger than the resources available and that the country needs a leader who can create wealth and turn things around.

According to him, if given the chance, his administration will be better than President Buhari’s.

Bill To Raise Minimum Qualification For President Passes Second Reading At House

 

A bill seeking to increase the minimum education qualification for Nigeria’s President and other elective offices has passed the second reading at the House of Representatives.

Representative Adewunmi Onanuga (APC, Ogun) had sponsored the bill which hopes to amend the 1999 Constitution and raise the qualification from school certificate to degree or its equivalent.

The bill seeks to amend Sections 65, 106, 131 and 171 of the 1999 Constitution.

READ ALSO: Court Strikes Out Suit On Timothy Adegoke’s Murder After Police Withdrawal

In leading the debate on the bill, Onanuga said the school certificate is not sufficient to rule the country.

File photo: Mr Femi Gbajabiamila presides over a plenary at the House of Representatives chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

According to her, it was curious that to qualify for employment as senior cadres in Nigerian civil service, an applicant must be a holder of the National Youth Service Corps certificate.

She noted that the applicant must already be a graduate as only graduates went for NYSC deployment.

This is even as she explained that it was strange that a person seeking to lead the whole country, including the graduate, was required to possess only a senior secondary school certificate or its equivalent.

The bill was read for the second time without any debate.

This is coming few weeks after the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabimila, called for the review of the country’s existing law which pegs the minimum educational qualification for aspirants to the presidency and other elective positions at senior secondary school certificate or its equivalent.

Gbajabiamila, who spoke at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, as the university’s 52nd convocation lecturer, said Section 131 (d) of the 1999 Constitution, which speaks to the minimum educational requirement for presidency, does not align with the current realities and needs of the modern times.

2023 Elections: Why I’m Against Zoning Of Political Offices – Sule Lamido

Election Shift: Lamido Concerned About Distributed Sensitive Materials
File photo of former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido.

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, has said he is against the idea of zoning of political offices.

Lamido, who spoke on Saturday during an interview on BBC Hausa, believes the zoning of political offices has been counter-productive, stressing that the idea should be jettisoned for the welfare and unity of Nigerians to take the centre stage.

“When it comes to zoning, I would say I do not agree. The world should look at it as it is, everywhere it goes; everywhere we talk about human development, “he said.

READ ALSO: 2023 Presidency: Anyone Who Will Be There For Nigeria Has My Support – Sule Lamido

As Nigerians go to the poll to elect a new President, Lamido asked the masses to consider virtue rather than ethnicity or religious sentiment.

The chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also faulted the decision of the current administration to consider the removal of fuel subsidy.

According to him, President Buhari had in the past kicked against the subsidy removal under the PDP government but was now talking about the policy.

This is coming just four days after he revealed his intention to support any presidential aspirant who is best for the country in 2023.

Lamido also threw his weight behind Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal who declared his intention to contest the presidential election.

Although he believes Tambuwal is one of the most qualified aspirants, Lamido kept mum on whether the northern elites have decided that the region should produce the next President.

“Let us look for the kind of person who will be there for Nigeria for all Nigerians,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today. “For me, wherever he comes from, anybody who will be there for Nigeria is the one I am going to support.”

PHOTOS: NAOWA President Visits Theatre Command Operation Hadin Kai, Distributes Palliative To Widows

 

The President of the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA) Mrs Salamatu Faruk Yahaya was at the Headquarters Joint Task Force North East Operation HADIN KAI (JTF NE OPHK) to cheer officers and men, those wounded in action in the theatre as well as provide palliatives to the widows of military personnel in Maiduguri.

On arrival, the NAOWA President was treated to a grand reception and dinner organised by both Headquarters JTF OPHK and 7 Division at the Maimalari Cantonment Officers’ Mess. Mrs Salamatu Yahaya who was thrilled with a series of activities lined up at the reception said the efforts of all officers and men of OPHK deserves a standing ovation, accolades and appreciation for their selfless efforts and sacrifices in the fight against insurgency and for keeping the nation in one piece.

READ ALSO: Troops Neutralise Three Kidnappers, Recover Arms

Earlier in his remarks, the Theatre Commander OPHK, Major General CG Musa said it is a great pleasure and honour to have the presence of the wife of the Chief of Army Staff in the Theatre. He added that her coming is highly appreciated and it is an opportunity for officers and men of OPHK to register their immense appreciation to the COAS for his untiring commitment, efforts and concern for OPHK especially with the supply of the current hardwires in the theatre.

While delivering the opening address at the occasion, the General Officer Commanding 7 Division Major General Waidi Shaibu welcomed the National President and her entourage to the theatre and expressed delight over the rare privilege to host her in the theatre barely a few weeks after assuming command of the division.

In the same vein, the NAOWA President paid a courtesy visit to the Theatre Commander JTF OPHK Major General CG Musa at the Military Command and Control Centre, Maimalari Cantonment. She expressed delight over the warm reception accorded her and her entourage despite the short notice.

The NAOWA President said “NAOWA evolved as an all-female association that seeks to promote bonding and solidarity amongst wives of the military officers”, adding that ” NAOWA provides succour to the people in need in the Barracks and indeed to others in the larger society.

She also used the occasion to offer special prayers to all officers and men of the Nigerian Military involved in the fight against insurgency, sought God’s guidance and protection in all spheres of the various operations across the country and wish the military unparalleled success in all its operational activities against the enemies of the nation.

Also, during the visit, the President and her entourage took a tour to 7 Division medical services and hospital to visit the sick and wounded in action troops recuperating at the facility. While sympathising with them over their plight, she appreciated their sacrifices and prayed for their quick recovery. In a show of appreciation and encouragement, Mrs Salamatu gave them relief items.

The NAOWA President further proceeded to Maimalari Cantonment Officers’ Mess where she distributed palliative to 100 widows of personnel in Operation HADIN KAI. Before the distribution of the items, she consoled and encouraged them over their loss and urged them to keep hope alive as the association will continue to do its best in providing them with basic equipment for skills acquisition so as to assuage their living condition. She also called for special prayers which were offered for the repose of the souls of the departed fallen heroes.

Mrs Salamatu F Yahaya ended the visit with a tour of NAOWA Nursery and Primary School Maimalari Cantonment, where she inspected ongoing projects at the facility which include the NAOWA Secretariate and Wellness Centre, a block of three classrooms amongst others.

The series of activities were attended by the Theatre Commander, Deputy Theatre Commander, GOC, Wife of the Borno state governor ably represented, members of Borno state executive council, national and divisional members of NAOWA, formation and unit commanders, senior officers, troops of OPHK, members of the press and other invited guests.

Tambuwal Declares Intention To Run For Presidency In 2023

A file photo of Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

 

Sokoto Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, on Monday declared his intention to contest for President in 2023 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives made the announcement in Sokoto after a stakeholders’ meeting.

Tambuwal explained that his decision was based on calls by the state chapter of the PDP, agreeing to begin a nationwide consultation in the pursuit of his ambition.

“I have listened to our party leaders, women and youths on the call that I should initiate and begin the process of consultations with a view of running and contesting for the President of Nigeria under the banner of our great party,” he said.

READ ALSO: ‘Imo State Owing Me N8bn Security Votes,’ Okorocha Faults Corruption Claims

“When members of the House of Representatives of the 7th Assembly approached with their desire for me to contest for the position of Speaker, I gave them certain conditions, one of which was that I have leaders –  late President Shehu Shagari, former Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko and two others in (Sokoto) state.

“I told them to go to my state and consult with these leaders. If they bless your initiative, I will accept your proposal and contest for the Speaker.

“When they came to Sokoto, President Shehu Shagari of blessed memory admonished them that: ‘if you are putting our son forward as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, your efforts must not be sectional or religious.”

The governor stressed that the direction of current political pursuits must be based on a genuine effort to produce a President for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.

Malawi President Warns Cabinet Against Corruption

File photo of Malawi Presidential Lazarus Chakwera. GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP.

 

Malawi’s new government was sworn in on Sunday after President Lazarus Chakwera’s surprise sacking of seven ministers last week over graft concerns, warning them to shun corruption

“Do not accept a gift in exchange for using your office to give someone preferential treatment in the administration of a public service,” Chakwera said at the swearing-in ceremony. “That is corruption.”

Civic and religious groups had pressured the president to rein in his cabinet after a number of his ministers were embroiled in corruption scandals.

In December, then minister of lands Kezzie Msukwa was arrested on allegations that he had received a bribe from a wealthy businessman to give him land.

Chakwera, elected in 2020 on a campaign to fight corruption in the poor southern African country, sacked his entire 33-member cabinet last Monday.

READ ALSO: African Union Suspends Burkina Faso After Coup

But most were reappointed two days later, and the new lineup includes only two new faces.

Chakwera named prominent businessman and politician Mark Katsonga Phiri to the trade ministry, while ruling party loyalist Sam Kawale takes over as lands minister, replacing Msukwa.

“If you do not follow the law, the law will follow you,” Chakwera said Sunday. “And if you think that I will use my office to save you from facing a law you have broken, then you are gravely mistaken.”

In early December, Malawi police arrested a former finance minister and an ex-central bank chief for fabricating figures in a bid to impress the International Monetary Fund.

Joseph Mwanamveka and Reserve Bank of Malawi former governor Dalitso Kabambe were accused of cooking the books to secure a loan from the Washington-based development and crisis lender.

Israeli President On First-Ever Visit To UAE

A handout picture obtained from the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) shows Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (R) shaking hands with Israel’s President Isaac Herzog (L) as the former receives the latter in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on January 30, 2022. (Photo by Amos Ben GERSHOM / GPO / AFP)

 

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog started his first visit to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, the latest high-profile diplomatic trip since the countries normalised ties.

It follows a visit by Naftali Bennett last month, the first by an Israeli premier, during which both sides are understood to have discussed Iran’s nuclear programme, a top Israeli security concern.

Herzog, travelling with the first lady, arrived at around 0800 GMT in the UAE capital, where he met with Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the president’s office said.

“Beginning the first visit by an Israeli president in the United Arab Emirates,” Herzog tweeted upon arrival. “We were delighted and deeply moved by the warm welcome in Abu Dhabi.”

The visit comes some 16 months after the wealthy Gulf country forged diplomatic ties with Israel, becoming the third Arab nation to do so after Egypt and Jordan.

Herzog also met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the presidential palace, the official Emirati news agency WAM said.

“The national anthems of the two countries were played, while 21 rounds of artillery were fired to welcome his visit,” it reported.

Sheikh Mohammed expressed hope that the visit would enhance bilateral relations, WAM said, adding that the pair discussed cooperation in fields including the economy, trade, investment, development, technology and health.

The president’s office said the meeting lasted for over two hours.

– Geopolitical interests –

“We completely support your security requirements and we condemn in all forms and language any attack on your sovereignty by terrorist groups,” Herzog’s office quoted him as saying during the meeting.

Abu Dhabi was hit this month by a missile and drone attack that killed three foreign workers — the first deadly assault on UAE soil claimed by Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels and acknowledged by the Emiratis.

“We are here together to find ways and means to bring full security to people who seek peace in our region,” he added.

Herzog, whose position is largely ceremonial, was also due to meet the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum during the two-day trip — the first official visit to the UAE by an Israeli head of state.

A 2020 normalisation deal between the two countries was one of a series of US-brokered agreements known as the Abraham Accords.

The deals angered the Palestinians and broke with decades of Arab League consensus against recognising Israel until it signs a peace agreement establishing a Palestinian state with a capital in east Jerusalem.

The accords were negotiated by Bennett’s predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, who said they would offer Israel new regional allies against Iran and bolster its diplomatic efforts to stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Iran is Israel’s long-standing nemesis, and the Jewish state is highly sceptical about ongoing efforts by world powers to revive a 2015 deal that gave Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its nuclear programme.

The UAE has strained relations with Iran, backing government-aligned forces fighting the Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen’s civil war.

– ‘Transform Middle East’ –

Herzog, who was also set to visit Expo 2020 Dubai and to meet members of the Jewish community, vowed this month that “the bold new partnership” between Israel and the UAE “will transform the Middle East”.

About 200,000 Israelis visited the UAE in the first 12 months after the normalisation deal was signed, and about 40 Israeli businesses have set up there, Israel’s Dubai consulate has said.

Since normalisation the countries have inked economic and trade cooperation deals ranging from tourism to financial services.

Emirati ambassador in Israel Mohamed Al Khaja said ahead of Herzog’s trip that it would enhance bilateral relations “as we aim to sign important economic and trade agreements… in the near future”.

The Abraham Accords were negotiated under former US president Donald Trump and endorsed by President Joe Biden’s administration.

Bahrain and Morocco have also normalised ties with Israel under the accords. Sudan has agreed to do so, but formal diplomatic relations have not yet emerged amid escalating instability in Khartoum.