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Israeli-US delegation leaves for UAE in first direct flight to sign cooperation deals

TEL AVIV, AUGUST 31—An Israeli-US delegation, including American President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, left for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday on board the first commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi.

Flight LY971, a direct flight operated by Israeli flag carrier El Al, departed at around 10.30 a.m., reports Xinhua news agency.

The two-day visit will include working meetings of the joint teams ahead of the signing of cooperation deals following the August 13 US-brokered agreement to normalize ties between Israel and UAE.

Ahead of the departure, a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said the meetings will focus on issues related to “the civil and economic spheres.”

The visit will also include a trilateral meeting in Abu Dhabi between the heads of the delegations: Israel’s chief of National Security Council Meir Ben Shabbat, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Kushner, also a senior White House adviser, and UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The discussions will be held in working groups composed of Israeli, Emirati and US representatives in the areas of diplomacy, finances, aviation and entry visas, health, culture and tourism, space, science and investments, innovation and trade, according to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

“Our goal is to achieve a joint work plan to promote the relationship in a very wide range of areas,” Shabbat said in a statement ahead of the departure.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that his country has held secrets talks with “many more” Arab states on normalizing relations.

“There are many more unpublicized meetings with Arab and Muslim leaders,” Netanyahu said during joint remarks in Jerusalem alongside Kushner and O’Brien.

Monday’s development comes after the UAE on Saturday issued a decree to formally end its boycott of Israel.

“Following the abolition of the Israel Boycott Law, individuals and companies in the UAE may enter into agreements with bodies or individuals residing in Israel or belonging to it by their nationality, in terms of commercial, financial operations, or any other dealings of any nature,” the decree said.

It will now be permissible to enter, exchange or possess Israeli goods and products of all kinds in the UAE.

As part of the August 13 agreement, Israel will suspend the annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank, while it focuses on expanding ties with other Arab countries with other nations in the Muslim world.

The UAE and Israel will also immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for coronavirus.

According to reports, this is the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.

-IANS

 

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