(June 10, 2020 / JNS) Israel’s Foreign Ministry wished the United Arab Emirates the “best of luck” on Tuesday ahead of a planned mission next month to Mars.
According to NASA, the Emirates Mars Mission is scheduled to launch on July 14. The mission’s objective is to orbit the planet with an unmanned probe, called Hope, and study its atmosphere over the course of one martian year.
“We wish the UAE the best of luck on the launch of this scientific mission, and hope this step will contribute towards deeper cooperation between all countries in the region,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry posted in Arabic to its “Israel in the Gulf” Twitter account.
Israel’s public statement is part of a pattern of warming relations between the two nations.
The UAE will become the first Arab country to send a mission to Mars.
Omran Sharaf, the mission’s project manager at the Dubai-based Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center, said “this mission is not just about the UAE, it’s about the region, it’s about the Arab issue.”
“The region is going through tough times and we do need good news and we need the youth in the region to really start looking inwards, building their own nations and putting differences aside to coexist with people with different faiths and backgrounds and work together,” he said.
Separately on Tuesday, a UAE Etihad Airways airplane landed at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport carrying medical aid for the Palestinians.
This is the second plane from UAE to land in Israel, with the first arriving only last month. The first plane to arrive was unmarked while Tuesday’s flight displayed the Etihad logo and the UAE flag.
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