Netanyahu pointed out that direct flights to the Emirates will make flying to and from Israel easier for many people
Prime Minister Benjamin visits Ben-Gurion Airport to oversee the reopening of the skies, August 17, 2020 / (photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/POOL)
Israel is in talks to have direct flights to the United Arab Emirates fly over Saudi airspace, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on a visit to Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday.
“It is a short flight of three hours, like to Rome, but it will greatly change Israeli aviation and the economy, with a great number of tourists on both sides and a great number of investments,” Netanyahu said.
Israir has already put in a request to begin direct flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, he said.
The prime minister said Emiratis are interested in “massive investment” in Israeli technology, and that free trade zones in the Emirates will allow for inexpensive goods to be imported into Israel.
“It is a boost to the Israeli economy and good for every citizen,” he added.
Netanyahu pointed out that direct flights to the Emirates will make flying to and from Israel easier for many people. They would shorten travel time from Israel to East Asia and Oceania.
The Foreign Ministry confirmed that they have staff on the ground searching for a site in Abu Dhabi for the Israeli Embassy.
Also Monday, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said that his country’s newly open ties with Israel are not targeting Iran.
The comment came after a speech by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who called the agreement a betrayal. The UAE summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
“The UAE-Israeli peace treaty is a sovereign decision that is not directed at Iran,” Gargash tweeted. “We do not accept interference in our decisions, just as we reject threats and threats…Strategic decisions are transformative and have their impact and our decision on our future enhances our position and our competitiveness.”