UAE scraps Israel boycott in new step towards normal ties - state news agency

By Maher Chmaytelli DUBAI (Reuters) - The president of the United Arab Emirates scrapped an economic boycott against Israel, allowing trade and financial agreements between the countries in another key step towards normal ties, the UAE's state news agency reported on Saturday.

Reuters August 30, 2020 00:06:16 IST
UAE scraps Israel boycott in new step towards normal ties - state news agency

UAE scraps Israel boycott in new step towards normal ties  state news agency

By Maher Chmaytelli

DUBAI (Reuters) - The president of the United Arab Emirates scrapped an economic boycott against Israel, allowing trade and financial agreements between the countries in another key step towards normal ties, the UAE's state news agency reported on Saturday.

Israel and the UAE said on Aug. 13 they would normalise diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by U.S. President Donald Trump that reshapes the order of Middle East politics from the Palestinian issue to the fight against Iran.

President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a decree abolishing a boycott law as part of "the UAE's efforts to expand diplomatic and commercial cooperation with Israel, leading to bilateral relations by stimulating economic growth and promoting technological innovation," the WAM news agency said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said the UAE had taken "an important step towards peace, which will yield substantial economic and commercial achievements for both people while strengthening the stability in the region."

The announcement came as Israeli flag carrier El Al Israel Airlines Ltd prepared to operate the country's first direct flight between Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport and the UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi.

An Israeli government delegation and top aides to Trump, including his senior adviser Jared Kushner, are due to travel on the flight on Aug. 31, a U.S. official said.

Before the Aug. 13 deal can be officially signed, details must be agreed on issues such as the opening of embassies, trade and travel links.

Israel’s Channel 13 TV said bilateral trade could initially be worth $4 billion a year, a figure it said could soon be tripled or quadrupled. Government officials did not immediately confirm that estimate.

Israeli Agriculture Minister Alon Schuster said Israel was working on potential joint projects that could help improve the oil-rich Gulf nation's food security, such as water desalination and crop cultivation in the desert.

"With their money and our experience, we could go a long way," he told Tel Aviv radio station 102 FM in an interview on Friday.

Officials from the two countries recently said they were looking at cooperation in defence, medicine, tourism and technology.

The decree announced on Saturday means UAE citizens and businesses will be free to do business with Israel.

The two countries do not yet have official air links, and it was unclear whether Monday's El Al flight would be able to fly over Saudi Arabia - which has no official ties with Israel - to cut down on flight time.

In May, an Etihad Airways plane flew from the UAE to Tel Aviv to deliver supplies to the Palestinians to help fight coronavirus , marking the first known flight by an UAE carrier to Israel.

(Additional reporting by Dan Williams and Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem; Editing by Helen Popper and Clelia Oziel)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations
World

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria
World

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment
World

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment

By Marcelo Rochabrun SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic. This week, news broke that Brazil's defense ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote. Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied