American and Israeli officials landed in Abu Dhabi on Monday, becoming the first passengers in history to fly directly from Israel to the United Arab Emirates.
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The flight was the latest development in the normalization of relations between the two countries following the bilateral historic agreement announced August 13.
The delegation, led by White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, includes US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.
“I believe that this [UAE-Israel] agreement has the ability to change the whole course of the Middle East… What happened here was three great leaders came together, and they started writing the script for a new Middle East.” Kushner told a press conference upon his arrival in the capital city.
Watch: White House Adviser Jared Kushner says that the #UAEIsrael agreement “has the ability to change the whole course of the Middle East.”— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) August 31, 2020
More here: https://t.co/trV4Ji11nb pic.twitter.com/Rzi1uI3xUh
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash and other Emirati officials welcomed the group at the airport.
O'Brien said the UAE-Israel deal was the most significant step towards peace in the Middle East in 25 years.
“Thanks to the courage and leadership of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, and President Donald Trump, a new era has truly begun for our three nations. And these leaders will now be known throughout history as peacemakers,” said O'Brien.
Watch: US Nat'l Security Adviser O’Brien says because of the “courage of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump, a new era has truly begun... These leaders will now be known throughout history as peacemakers.”https://t.co/trV4Ji11nb pic.twitter.com/EXHqsJ6miX— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) August 31, 2020
Israeli representatives from the fields of finance, health, tourism, investment, foreign policy, diplomacy, tourism, and culture were also part of the group.
The delegation members will meet face to face with Emirati representatives to discuss future collaborations in the various fields.
The plane, part of the Israeli national airlines El Al, was painted with the word “Peace” in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
The first direct flight from the UAE to Israel took place back in May.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways operated two cargo flights carrying coronavirus medical aid to be delivered to the Palestinians via Israel.