NEWS | Netanyahu Says Israel Preparing For Direct Flights To UAE Over Saudi Arabia

DUBAI – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel is preparing for direct flights, over Saudi Arabia, to the United Arab Emirates as part of its normalization deal with the UAE.

Israel and the UAE announced on Thursday that they will normalize diplomatic relations under a U.S. – sponsored deal whose implementation could reshape Middle East politics from the Palestinian issue to the fight against Iran. The UAE would only be third Arab state in more than 70 years to establish relations with Israel.

Netanyahu, briefed at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport on plans for expanding flight activity curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, gave no time frame for the opening of an air link with the Gulf Arab country.

‘We are currently working on enabling direct flight, over Saudi Arabia, between Tel Aviv and Dubai and Abu Dhabi’, Netanyanu told reporters, estimating flight at ‘about three hours, just like to Rome’.

Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel and its air space is closed to Israeli airline. But in what was seen in Israel as a harbinger of warmer relations with Riyadh, Air India was allowed in 2018 to begin flying over Saudi territory on its New Delhi-Tel Aviv route.

At Ben-Gurion airport, Netanyahu said he saw ‘tremendous scope for bilateral tourism and gigantic scope for investment’ with the UAE.

A delegation from Israel is expected to travel to the UAE within weeks to work out the modalities of normalized relations, but any swift opening of a commercial air route could be complicated by coronavirus restrictions.

On Sunday, the UAE opened telephone lines to Israel, a link inaugurated in a conversation between the two countries’ foreign ministers.

Macron, Merkel Vow To Cooperate Closely Until New German Government Is Formed

Paris / France – – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Thursday to keep working closely together until a new German government is formed after the Sept. 26 polls in which Merkel is not a candidate. In 16 years in power, Merkel has known four French presidents and has built … More Macron, Merkel Vow To Cooperate Closely Until New German Government Is Formed

Saudi – Led Coalition Thwarts Houthi Missile And Drones Attack – Media

Dubai / UAE – – The Saudi – led coalition said late on Thursday that it thwarted and destroyed four Houthi explosives – laden drones and a ballistic rocket fired in the direction of the southern Saudi city of Jazan, Saudi state media reported. The Saudi – led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, … More Saudi – Led Coalition Thwarts Houthi Missile And Drones Attack – Media

Macron Says French French Forces Killed Islamic State Leader In Sahara

Paris / France — French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that French military forces had killed Islamic Adnan Abu Walid al – Sahrawi, the leader of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. ‘It’s another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel’, Macron said in a tweet, without disclosing the location of … More Macron Says French French Forces Killed Islamic State Leader In Sahara

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