GROUPS HEAD TO EMIRATES, AS WORRIES GROW OVER IRAN
The main umbrella group of American Jewish organizations is set to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi next month in a sign of the growing concern among Sunni regimes over Iran's nuclear and regional ambitions.
The trip, by a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to the main power centers of the United Arab Emirates, is notable because the Sunni-majority UAE does not have formal diplomatic ties with Israel. The trip also comes amid a flurry of consultations between Washington, its regional allies and Israel about steps to counter Iran's influence in the region, first and foremost in Iraq but also in Lebanon and in the Palestinian territories.
The UAE is a critically important place on the issue of terrorism, the fight against extremism and Iran, said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Presidents Conference, a 51-member umbrella organization that serves as the Jewish community's main collective voice on Middle East affairs. We want to see improved relations with the U.S., of course, but also hope that this can foster relations with Israel.