DUBAI   -  Israel’s prime minister is due to visit the UAE for the first time on Sunday. Naftali Bennett’s plane has taken off for Abu Dhabi, his office said on Sunday afternoon.

The UAE and Israel signed an agreement, known as the Abraham Accords, to normalise ties between the two countries on Aug. 13 2020.

Bennett is to make the first official visit by an Israeli prime minister to the UAE since the two countries established diplomatic ties last year. Bennett will meet Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, on Monday to discuss “deepening the ties between Israel and the UAE, especially economic and regional issues,” Bennett’s office said.

Last year the UAE became the third majority-Arab nation to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel, after its neighbours Egypt and Jordan. Bahrain and Morocco then followed as part of a series of deals brokered by Donald Trump. Sudan agreed to normalise ties with Israel under the pacts, known as the Abraham Accords, but full relations have not yet materialised.

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 the Islamic republic from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Bennett’s visit comes as Iran and world powers have resumed negotiations in Vienna on the frayed 2015 nuclear deal that offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

The Israeli PM has called for the talks to be halted, accusing Tehran of “nuclear blackmail” and charging that it will use any revenue from sanctions relief to bolster a military arsenal that can harm Israel.

The Abraham Accords were strongly condemned by the Palestinians because they broke with decades of Arab League consensus against recognising Israel until it signed a peace deal establishing a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem.

While Bennett is the first Israel prime minister to visit UAE, his foreign minister, Yair Lapid, made a landmark visit there in June, opening an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate in Dubai, while the UAE established an embassy in Tel Aviv.