UAE cancels boycott law, allows economic agreements with Israel

Israel UAE flags
UAE and Israel flags are seen on the Sholem Bridge in Netanya, Israel.

The president of the United Arab Emirates has issued a decree cancelling a law on boycotting Israel and allowing trade and financial agreements between the two countries, the UAE official news agency WAM reported on Saturday.

The decree from UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan aims at “supporting bilateral cooperation in order to arrive at (the establishment) of bilateral relations”, the agency said.

The announcement comes as El Al Airlines plans to operate Israel’s first direct flight between Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi, carrying an Israeli delegation and top aides to U.S. President Donald Trump, who brokered an Aug. 13 accord to normalise Israel-UAE ties.

Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner will be among the U.S. officials on the El Al flight departing on Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. (0700 GMT), a U.S official said.

The Israel-UAE deal awaits negotiations on details such as opening embassies, trade and travel links before it is officially signed.

There are no official air links between Israel and the UAE, and it was unclear whether El Al 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 use for the novel coronavirus epidemic, marking the first known flight by a UAE carrier to Israel.

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