Israeli Prez invites Abu Dhabi Crown Prince to visit Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Aug 18 : Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that he hasinvited Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to visit Jerusalem following last week’s historic agreement between Isreal and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to normalize ties.

In an official invitation letter on Monday, Rivlin wrote that he hopes that the peace deal, announced on August 13 “will be signed soon”, reports Xinhua news agency.

There was no immediate official reply from the UAE, according to local Israeli media.

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Israel and the UAE announced last week that they have agreed to sign a peace agreement brokered by US President Donald Trump.

In exchange for the normalization of ties, Israel agreed to halt its plan to annex portions of the occupied West Bank.

Also on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is preparing for direct flights between Tel Aviv and the UAE.

“I would like to inform you that we are now working on allowing direct flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” Netanyahu told reporters during a tour at the Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv.

“It is a very short flight, around three hours,” he said, adding he expects the new route will boost tourism.

The flights will fly over Saudi Arabia, a country with which Israel has no official diplomatic ties at the moment, Netanyahu added.

Israelis will benefit from the UAE’s free trade zone as the latter “is very interested in massive investments in Israeli technology and importing inexpensive products”, he noted.

A day earlier, Netanyahu said he expected “additional countries” to normalize their relations with Israel despite the long-stalled negotiations with the Palestinians since 2014.

The Israel-UAE deal marks the first diplomatic relations between Israel and a Gulf country.

The UAE is the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to establish official ties with Israel.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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