Israel and the European Union have begun talks regarding the possibility of establishing a new rail link between the eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf states, Israel’s Finance Ministry and central bank said on Monday.

The possible “regional peace railway” was brought up in the context of annual discussions that this year also focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Reuters. It would boost the economies of Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.

The Bank of Israel said the rail connection would be “shorter, faster, cheaper and safer” than currently used trade routes.

The idea follows the recent historic peace agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

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