The first Emirati delegation to Israel to approve the creation of a fund of billions of dollars and visa-free travel


Dubai: The first Emirati delegation to visit Israel cemented a historic normalization agreement with a series of meetings and deals on Tuesday.

The Emiratis landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel, where they met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and accepted a fund of billions of dollars.

The two sides signed four agreements, including one on visa-free travel – the first of its kind between Israel and an Arab country.

Other agreements covered the encouragement and protection of investment and cooperation in the field of science, innovation and civil aviation.

The five-hour meeting – which was held at the airport due to the precautions of the Coronavirus – witnessed the announcement of the Brahimi Fund, worth $ 3 billion for the development and initiative of the private sector, according to reports of the UAE government news agency, WAM.

“The fund reflects the desire of the three countries to prioritize the well-being of people regardless of their religious beliefs and identities,” said the UAE Minister of State in the United Arab Emirates, Ahmed Ali Al-Sayegh.

The tripartite meeting between Israel, the United States and the United Arab Emirates was attended by Netanyahu, US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, Assistant US President Avi Berkowitz, UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid Al Tayer and UAE Economy Minister Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri.

The three countries will also establish a development office in Israel to study and initiate projects aimed at making a positive impact on economic growth, living standards, and high-quality job creation.
“We will sign four agreements that will change the course of the people of the Emirates and Israel,” Netanyahu said. Israel and the UAE have already signed several trade agreements since mid-August, when they first announced that they would establish full relations.

“The agreements will strengthen bilateral relations between the UAE and Israel,” Al Tayer said. The United Arab Emirates and the Gulf state of Bahrain in September became the first two Arab countries to sign agreements to establish formal relations with Israel in a quarter of a century, a move that Washington and its allies say will promote regional peace and stability, but this has been rejected by the Palestinians.

US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and Middle East envoy Ari Berkowitz joined them on the trip, after escorting an Israeli delegation to Bahrain on Sunday to attend the signing ceremony to formalize the relationship.

The UAE, along with Bahrain, signed the Abrahamic agreements to normalize relations with Israel in Washington last month. They became one of the first Arab countries after Egypt and Jordan to agree to establish relations with the Jewish state.

Palestinian leaders have been angered by the agreement, saying they are not included in Trump’s comprehensive Middle East peace plan.

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