Netanyahu says security row with Jordan which cancelled UAE trip settled

Netanyahu says security row with Jordan which cancelled UAE trip settled
Israeli PM Netanyahu said that a row with Jordan over the use of its airspace, which caused the cancellation of his latest attempt to visit the UAE, had been settled.
2 min read
12 March, 2021
Netanyahu's plane was prevented from crossing Jordanian airspace [Getty]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on  Thursday that a diplomatic row with Jordan which caused the cancellation of his visit to the UAE had been settled. 

Netanyahu, who saw his fourth attempt to visit the country thwarted by Jordan’s refusal to let his plane cross its airspace, said at a press conference in Jerusalem that the diplomatic spat had been resolved.

Jordan announced in the past hour that it would allow the plane to pass through Jordanian airspace,” the Israeli Prime Minister said in a tweet.

Due to the delay in receiving the Jordan confirmation, Netanyahu and the UAE's de facto ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, have agreed to arrange another date for a visit.

Following a phone call between Netanyahu and Sheikh bin Zayed, the UAE announced that it was setting up a $10 billion investment fund aimed at strategic sectors in Israel.

Through the $10 billion fund the UAE "will invest in and alongside Israel, across sectors including energy manufacturing, water, space, healthcare and agri-tech," according to the official UAE news agency WAM

Israel and the UAE announced that they would normalise relations in August 2020 following a deal brokered by former US President Donald Trump's administration.

The UAE said that it agreed to normalise relations with Israel in exchange for its suspension of the annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank, but Israel says the annexation has been merely "delayed".

Since then, Netanyahu has made multiple unsuccessful attempts to visit the UAE.

Read also: UAE announces $10 billion Israel investment fund

The visit's cancellation may come as a relief to some Emirati officials as Israel’s embattled leader will face a tight electoral race on March 23.

For Netanyahu, who faces an unusually strong right-wing challenge after major defections from his Likud party, it is a missed occasion to flourish his diplomatic credentials.

Amman's refusal to grant access was likely in response to a  dispute with Israel over logistical issues surrounding Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah's planned visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli media had attributed the cancellation of the UAE visit to the Prime Minister’s wife's hospitalisation. Sara Netanyahu was admitted to Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center with appendicitis on Wednesday.

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