Israel, UAE sign historic deals to strengthen relations

Jerusalem, Oct 20 (efe-epa).- Israel and the United Arab Emirates deepened their ties on Tuesday with the signing of four agreements in a ceremony mediated by the United States.

The UAE’s minister of finance, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, and economy, Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, were the first high-level delegation from the Gulf state to take part in an official visit to Israel since the two countries normalized ties last month.

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the US secretary of the treasury, Steve Mnuchin, and the White House special representative for international trade, Avi Berkowitz, welcomed the ministers to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, where a marquee was set up for the brief signing ceremony.

The visit from the UAE ministers was scheduled to last just a matter of hours amid tough Covid-19 restrictions in Israel.

“We are making history in a way that will stand in generations,” Netanyahu said.

The delegations signed four agreements as part of the Abraham Accords, named after the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions and so-called given the symbolic link between Judaism and Islam.

The agreements signed Tuesday span investment protection, science and technology, civil aviation agreements and visa waivers, which will see the UAE become the first Arab country whose citizens do not need a visa to visit Israel.

“The enthusiasm for this peace agreement among our peoples is enormous, it is deep, it is broad and it reflects the potential that is being realized today,” Netanyahu said.

“The visit of such a high level delegation from the UAE and the agreements we are about to sign will show our peoples, the region and the entire world the benefits of having friendly, peaceful, normal relations.”

Al Tayer said it was a “sincere honor” to be a member of the first Emirati delegation to make an official visit to Israel.

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