(January 20, 2019 / JNS) Officials from Israel and the United Arab Emirates made a public display of warming relations between the countries by flying over Saudi airspace together last week on a private jet traveling from Adu Dhabi to Tel Aviv.
Saudi Arabia reportedly authorized the flight over its airspace without requiring the usual stopover in Amman, Jordan.
The Emirati newspaper Al Khaleej Online said the Israeli officials were on the way home to prepare for a surprise visit by UAE Foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Ynet reporter Itay Blumenthal was cited in the article after tweeting a photo of the flight map.
According to the report, Emirati Foreign Minister and Head of UAE intelligence Tahnoun bin Zayed was one of the UAE officials aboard the Thursday flight.
It is expected that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel on an official state visit to UAE in the near future. Netanyahu made an official visit to neighboring Oman in October, the first time in decades that an Israeli prime minister visited a Gulf state.
Similarly, Israel’s Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev accompanied an Israeli delegation to the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Judo competition the same month and was accompanied on a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque by UAE officials. When Israeli judoka Sagi Muki won a gold medal, Israel’s national anthem was played, the first time the Jewish state’s song was sung in the country.