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High-Ranking US-Israeli Delegation Lands in UAE

By VOA News August 31, 2020

High-ranking U.S. and Israeli delegations landed in Abu Dhabi after taking off from Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday, the first-ever commercial flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates.

The flight passed over Saudi Arabia's airspace – another first for an Israeli commercial flight.

Israel and the UAE agreed to establish diplomatic relations earlier this month, with the help of U.S mediation.

The UAE will become the third Arab nation to have normalized relations with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan.

The U.S. delegation includes President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, national security adviser Robert O'Brien, Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and envoy for Iran Brian Hook.

Speaking to reporters before boarding the plane, Kushner said "while this is a historic flight, we hope that this will start an even more historic journey for the Middle East and beyond."

The Israeli delegation includes national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, as the head, and the director generals of several ministries.

"This morning the traditional greeting of 'go in peace' takes on a special significance for us," Ben-Shabbat said, adding the aim of the trip was to lay the groundwork for cooperation in areas of medicine, trade, technology and tourism.

The U.S. and Israeli officials will have meetings with their UAE counterparts.

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