Israel’s UN ambassador made secret visit to Dubai

Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon earlier this week made a secret visit to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to attend a conference under the auspices of the UN, Channel 2 revealed for the first time Thursday.

Danon sojourned to the oil-rich nation to attend a development conference in his capacity as chairman of the UN Legal Committee, an appointment he received in June.

The trip was conducted secretly and under tight security measures so as not arouse criticism of the government by local citizens.

The move is significant in terms of a traditionally hostile Arab nation hosting a high-level Israeli official, Channel 2 noted. The move is the latest sign in Israel’s effort to inch closer to its Arab neighbors as the region delves deeper into instability.

Israel has recently made moves within the diplomatic realm that has seen an effort to strengthen ties with Arab and Muslim nations with shared security and economic interests, such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

In the summer of last year, for example, Saudi Arabia and Israel admitted to holding a number of secret talks since the beginning of 2014 concerning Iran and the unique threat it posed to the region.

Tensions between the two countries have declined precipitously since, with a notable change in Saudi public discourse ostensibly offering a more favorable posture towards the Jewish state.

The public shift – from outlets such as al-Arabiya and Riyadh newspaper, among other local or state-owned outlets – reflects secret, under the-table contact between the Arab kingdom and Israel that has been a work in progress for years.

And in June, Turkey and Israel finalized a reconciliation deal that normalized relations between the two countries after a six-year rift.