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Strong UAE relations to help Israel establish peace with other Arab countries

Anjana Sankar /Abu Dhabi
anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 1, 2020 | Last updated on September 1, 2020 at 06.22 am
UAE, israel partnership, jared kushner, abu dhabi, embassy, envoy

Other Arab nations following UAE's lead will result in stability and peace across the region.

Establishing strong and stable relations with the UAE is crucial for Israel as "stronger the relations" between the two countries, "the higher the possibilities of other Arab countries wanting to establish peace with Israel", a top official has said.

Lior Hayat, spokesperson for the Israeli foreign ministry, told Khaleej Times: "We are in talks with many Arab countries ... They will look at what the leadership of the UAE is doing and the reaction and will understand that normalising relations with Israel is a positive thing."

Hayat said every Arab nation that follows the UAE's lead will ultimately bring in stability and peace to their country and thus "we can create a region of peace". "That is our ultimate aim."

The official was talking to Khaleej Times as a US-Israeli delegation led by Jared Kushner, Senior Adviser to US President Donald Trump, arrived at the presidential airport in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Setting up an Israel embassy in Abu Dhabi and having diplomatic representatives in both countries was expected to be among the issues discussed between the UAE and the delegation, Hayat added. "To create a conversation and dialogue are the priorities for both sides. So, opening of embassies and providing consular services for people wanting to visit from both sides will be discussed in today's meeting. It will allow us to further emphasise on the relations and peace between the two countries."

He said the El Al flight 971 flew in 50 delegates mainly from the Israeli side. The delegation includes US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien and Meir Ben-Shabbat, National Security Adviser and head of the Israeli National Security Council.

Hayat said the delegation, comprising seven groups with representatives from both Israel and the UAE, will discuss diplomatic relations and foreign policy, investment, finance, health, civil space and aviation, tourism and culture; and ways to promote joint action and opportunities for cooperation.

Commercial travel 'soon'

When asked about the opening of commercial air travel between the two countries, the Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson said: "We will have a date soon. We really hope that direct flights will be achieved soon after the signing of the historic agreement in Washington in a few weeks." He was referring to the historic UAE-Israel peace accord.

He said there is a "lot of interest" among Israelis to visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and opening up of air travel will turn the region into a gateway to both Asia and Europe.

anjana@khaleejtimes.com

author

Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.


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