Israel President, Issac Herzog, arrived in Abu Dhabi yesterday to pay his respects following the death of the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The ruler, who had been battling illness for several years and had long ceased having involvement in the day-to-day affairs of the Kingdom, passed away on Friday, Abu Dhabi’s Ministry of Presidential Affairs has announced.

“I came here on behalf of the people of Israel to express my condolences to you, to your family and to the Emirati people,” Herzog told bin Zayed during their meeting, according to a statement from his office.

“Your brother, Sheikh Khalifa, was an extraordinary man,” he said. “His brave leadership contributed tremendously to advancing his country and his people and to the partnership that materialised in recent years between our countries,” referring to the 2020 Abraham Accords.

Herzog also added that he left behind a “legacy of progress and of striving for peace in the Middle East.”

In September 2020, the UAE and Israel signed a US-sponsored deal to normalise their relations.

Since then, the two countries have exchanged official visits by senior officials and have signed dozens of bilateral agreements in various fields, including investment, banking services and tourism.

According to The Times of Israel, Herzog was accompanied on the trip to Abu Dhabi by Communications Minister, Yoaz Hendel, and Regional Cooperation Minister, Esawi Frej.

The visit was the Israeli  President’s second to the UAE since he took office last year.