Head of the UAE Government Delegation to Israel on First Official Visit
The first official UAE delegation to Israel flew out on Tuesday as the two countries seek to expand cooperation after normalizing relations last month in a U.S.-brokered deal based largely on shared Iranian concerns. …
According to flight tracking website FlightRadar24, an Etihad Airways plane carrying Emirati government officials, accompanied by US dignitaries, departed from the UAE capital Abu Dhabi and headed to Ben Gurion Airport.
Israeli officials said the visit would be limited to the airport due to concerns over the coronavirus.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, another Gulf state in September, became the first Arab states in a quarter century to sign agreements to establish official relations with Israel, which Washington and its allies believe will contribute to peace and regional stability, but which was rejected by the Palestinians.
The delegation of the Emirates is led by Minister of Economy Abdullah bin Tuk al-Mari and Minister of State for Finance Obeid Humayd Al Tayer, the official representative of the UAE Foreign Ministry.
US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and Middle East Envoy Ari Berkowitz join them on the trip after escorting an Israeli delegation to Bahrain on Sunday for a signing ceremony to formalize the relationship.
Israel and the UAE have already signed several trade agreements since mid-August, when they first announced their intention to establish a full-fledged relationship.
Israeli officials said both sides should have signed a mutual visa-free regime – Israel’s first agreement with an Arab country.