Top U.S. Officials to Join Israeli Delegation to UAE to Discuss Cooperation, Netanyahu Announces

Jared Kushner and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien will travel to Abu Dhabi with senior Israeli officials on Monday, as Israeli prime minister lauds prospect of 'economic growth'

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Jared Kushner shakes hands with with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his Jerusalem Residence, May 30, 2019.
Jared Kushner shakes hands with with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his Jerusalem Residence, May 30, 2019.Credit: Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that a delegation led by National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat would depart to Abu Dhabi on Monday, after Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize relations.

How Trump demolished dishonest Netanyahu's non-denial denialCredit: Haaretz Weekly

American officials, including President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz, will join the delegation, according to Netanyahu.

Israeli officials representing several government ministries and experts in the fields of tourism, aviation, space, commerce, health, energy and defense will also join the delegation to discuss cooperation.

“It’s a historic agreement,” Netanyahu said in a video statement. “It can bring economic growth in general, and particularly in the times of the coronavirus.” He added: “I hope other countries in our region will join the circle of peace.”

National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat, Jerusalem, March 26, 2020Credit: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO

The flight, likely on an Israeli El Al airliner, will be the first known direct flight by Israel’s state airline to a Gulf Arab country and an important sign of progress in implementing the August 13 agreement by Israel and the UAE to establish official relations.

The flight also would indicate Saudi support for the deal. The Saudis have voiced lukewarm support and until now have not said whether they would allow the two countries to use its airspace for direct flights. Without Saudi acquiescence, flights would likely have to take a roundabout and potentially risky route around Yemen and through the Persian Gulf.

Last week, officials in Israel and the UAE started to work on the details of their agreements to establish full diplomatic relations, in advance of official talks to take place in Abu Dhabi.

The Israeli delegation that was meant to leave for the Gulf for those talks was delayed over disagreements on the division of authority between the National Security Council, Mossad and Foreign Ministry.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Election ad featuring Yair Lapid in Rahat, the largest Arab city in Israel's Negev region.

This Bedouin City Could Decide Who Is Israel's Next Prime Minister

Dr. Claris Harbon in the neighborhood where she grew up in Ashdod.

A Women's Rights Lawyer Felt She Didn't Belong in Israel. So She Moved to Morocco

Mohammed 'Moha' Alshawamreh.

'It Was Real Shock to Move From a Little Muslim Village, to a Big Open World'

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Prime Minister