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Israel and the European Union have signed a memorandum of understanding regarding an "open skies" agreement, removing most limitations on flights between EU countries and Israel.

At present, Israel is a signatory to agreements with the individual countries, which set the number of flights and the destinations.

According to Transportation Ministry Director General Gideon Sitterman, who headed the talks on the memorandum, the agreement contains elements that protect Israeli airlines, to which the EU has agreed.

Talks will continue in November in Brussels, and it is hoped an agreement will be reached in 2009.