US-Israeli delegation lands in the UAE

The UAE and Israel are opening their doors to a wide range of business opportunities after the surprise agreement to normalise relations.

The two states have long forged commercial and technology links, but with the arrival of a joint US-Israeli delegation on Monday they can now work out in the open.

“We came here to transform a vision into a reality. There are no limits to cooperation … in education, innovation, health, aviation, agriculture, energy and many other fields,” Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat said in Abu Dhabi.

Here are some key areas where Israel and its new Arab partner share economic interests.

A Star of David-adorned El Al plane has landed in the United Arab Emirates, carrying a high-ranking American and Israeli delegation from Israel in the first-ever direct commercial passenger flight between the two countries.

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser, was on board Flight 971 of Israel’s national carrier as part of the delegation who were to meet with UAE officials on Monday.

Jared Kushner said on Monday that the United States could maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge while advancing its relations with the United Arab Emirates.

Kushner also said Palestinians should come to the negotiating table. He made his comments after landing in Abu Dhabi airport, after making the first official Israeli flight from Tel Aviv to the UAE.

He added that the peace forged by Emirati and Israeli leaders was also desired by the two countries’ peoples.

Kushner also thanked Saudi Arabia for granting permission for the first official Israeli flight from Tel Aviv to the United Arab Emirates.

“This is the first time this has ever happened, I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for making that possible,” said Kushner.

The flight from Tel Aviv follows the August 13 announcement of a US-brokered agreement to normalise relations between the two countries, making the UAE the first Gulf country and only the third Arab state to establish relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.

The UAE is the first Arab country to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel in more than 25 years. It reflects a shifting Middle East in which shared concerns over Iran have overtaken traditional wall-to-wall Arab support for the Palestinians.

“While this is a historic flight, we hope that this will start an even more historic journey for the Middle East and beyond,” Kushner told reporters before boarding the plane.

The American delegation includes Kushner, as well as national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and envoy for Iran Brian Hook. Israel will be represented by national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and the director generals of several ministries, who will meet with their Emirati counterparts.

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