UAE issues decree formally ending Israel boycott

UAE issues decree formally ending Israel boycott
In a rapid normalisation drive, Israelis and Israeli firms will now be able to do business in the UAE, where purchase and trade of Israeli goods will also be permitted
2 min read
The UAE and Israel are rapidly advancing their normalisation agreement [Getty]
The ruler of the United Arab Emirates issued a decree on Saturday formally ending the country's boycott of Israel amid a US-brokered deal to normalise relations between the two countries.

The state-run WAM news agency said the move was made on the orders of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and the Emirates' leader.

WAM said the new decree allows Israelis and Israeli firms to do business in the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. It also allows for the purchase and trade of Israeli goods.

“The decree of the new law comes within the UAE’s efforts to expand diplomatic and commercial cooperation with Israel,” WAM said. It lays out “a roadmap toward launching joint cooperation, leading to bilateral relations by stimulating economic growth and promoting technological innovation.”

On Monday, the first direct commercial flight by Israel's flagship carrier El Al is expected in Abu Dhabi, carrying a delegation of US and Israeli officials for historic talks about the normalisation agreement.

US officials said their delegation will be headed by President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and will include national security adviser Robert O'Brien, Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz and envoy for Iran Brian Hook, administration officials said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, announced that his national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, would lead Israel's delegation. A number of Israeli government ministries will also send representatives, including the directors of the foreign and defence ministries and the national aviation authority, he said.

Netanyahu said the talks would "advance peace and normalisation" with the UAE and would focus on flights and tourism, trade, business, energy, security and health, including the coronavirus pandemic.

However the bombshell announcement earlier this month has sparked fury from Palestinians.

The establishment of a Palestinian state has long been a prerequisite for Arab states in order to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

The UAE has claimed that the normalisation agreement will stop Israel from going ahead with its planned annexation of Palestinian land, however Netanyahu says the project has only been delayed.

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