Israel to sign visa exemption deal with UAE, its first with an Arab nation

Following the September 15 US-brokered normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the two countries are scheduled to sign a visa exemption agreement on Tuesday, according to officials.

This will be first time that Israel will sign such agreement with an Arab country, The Times of Israel reported.

The treaty will be signed during high-level meetings and a ceremony in Tel Aviv attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and two senior UAE ministers.

This is also the maiden visit of a high-level delegation from the UAE to Israel.

Under the new visa exemption agreement, citizens of both the UAE and Israel will be allowed to enter the countries without having to apply for a visa first.

However, it will enter into force only after it is ratified by both countries, a process that will require a vote in the Israeli Parliament or Knesset.

Earlier on Tuesday, Etihad Airways Flight EY9607, the first commercial shuttle from the UAE to Israel, landed at the Ben-Gurion International Airport outside of Tel Aviv.

The flight came a day after the two countries agreed to enable 28 weekly direct flights between their territories.

The flight arrived without passengers but later ferried an Israeli travel and tourism delegation to Abu Dhabi.

Israel currently has normalization agreements with four Arab countries, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and the UAE, but so far only the latter has agreed to allow Israelis to visit without a visa.

The US is also yet to sign a visa exemption agreement with Israel.

Beside the visa waiver, bilateral agreements in the areas of aviation, investment protection, science and technology are also expected to be signed at Tuesday's ceremony, which will take place at Ben-Gurion Airport, The Times of Israel reported.

Tuesday's developments come a day afterthe UAE and Bahrain on Monday gave parliamentary approval to their respective normalization agreements with Israel.

--IANS

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(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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