(August 26, 2020 / JNS) The first direct commercial flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates is scheduled for next week.
It will be the first known direct trip from Israel to a Gulf Arab state.
The development, first reported by the AP on Tuesday, citing U.S. officials, is a result of the U.S.-brokered agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE. The flight will carry members of the U.S. and Israeli delegations involved in the agreement, called the “Abraham Accord.”
Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat will lead the Israeli delegation. The American one will be led by White House senior adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.
The commercial airline to be used to conduct the flight is unknown. American Airlines and Brussels Airlines currently do not plan to offer flights between Israel and the UAE, spokespeople for the airliners told JNS.
A Delta Airlines spokesperson told JNS that the airline doesn’t fly between the two countries, but cited that it operates service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Ben-Gurion International Airport just outside Tel Aviv.
In addition to traveling to Israel and the UAE, the U.S. delegation will visit Bahrain, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Qatar—all part of attempting to get those countries to follow the UAE’s lead. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently in Bahrain as part of his Mideast trip that has included Israel and Sudan. Pompeo is then scheduled to visit the UAE.
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