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Israel’s Leumi grants guarantee to First Abu Dhabi for travel on Etihad flights

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Bank Leumi said it had issued a dollar-denominated bank guarantee to First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), its first to a United Arab Emirates bank, after Israel and the UAE signed a normalization deal last month.

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Leumi, Israel’s second-biggest bank, last month signed memorandums of understanding with FAB as well as Emirates NBD, saying the agreements would help enable the countries to implement economic relations.

Read more: Open for business: How UAE-Israel peace is driving deals at breakneck speed

It said on Wednesday the guarantee came at the request of Tal Aviation, which represents several international airlines in Israel. Tal signed a cooperation deal with Etihad Airlines that will enable Israelis to fly on Etihad with connections in Jordan, Turkey or Greece.

The bank guarantee to FAB -- one of the largest banks in the Middle East -- would ensure payments for flight tickets purchased by Tal Aviation on Etihad, Leumi said.