Abu Dhabi: Meir Ben-Shabbat, The Head of Israel’s National Security Council, read his first statement to the media in Arabic after he landed in Abu Dhabi, as the first-ever commercial flight from Tel Aviv to the UAE’s capital marked history today. Bin-Shabbat, who stood next to US President’s senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and US’ National Security Adviser, Robert O’Brien, at the media briefing, started his statement with the Islamic greeting “As-salamu alaykum,” which means “Peace be upon you.”
The UAE, US and Israel have reaffirmed that the accord reached by the three nations is “a courageous step towards a more stable, integrated and prosperous Middle East.” The conclusion came in a three-nation statement issued during the visit to the UAE by a top US-Israeli delegation, led by Jared Kushner, senior adviser to US President Donald Trump. Watch the video from Emirates News Agency:
Essence of the statement
Their statement said: “The accord reached between the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates on August 13, 2020 is a courageous step towards a more stable, integrated and prosperous Middle East. “It inverts traditional thinking about the way to address the region’s problems and challenges, focusing on pragmatic steps that have tangible, practical outcomes.
“It carries with it the promise of new bridges that will serve to de-escalate existing conflicts and prevent future conflicts. “And it comes at the right time. Over the last decade we have seen a marked increase in war, destruction and dislocation, and a growing demographic shift towards a younger population.
“If we are to meet the needs of current and future generations, we must be responding actively to all these changes.
“The accord has initiated a historic breakthrough in normalizing ties between Israel and the UAE and has led to the suspension of Israel’s plans to extend its sovereignty.
“The United States and the UAE urge Palestinian leaders to re-engage with their Israeli counterparts in discussions aimed at achieving peace.
“On Saturday, the UAE formally abolished its 40-year boycott law, thereby allowing UAE companies and individuals to trade directly with Israel. “Israeli and Emirati ministers, from foreign affairs to food security, have initiated their first official discussions on continuing and strengthening co-operation.
“We have already opened phone lines between the two countries and as we speak, Israelis and Emiratis are collaborating on research we hope will lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of Covid-19.
“Today we have witnessed the first commercial flight by Israel’s El Al airlines to the UAE, carrying both Israeli officials and media.
“Tomorrow, Emirati, Israeli and American officials will begin discussing bilateral technical co-operation in seven key areas: investment, finance, health, the civilian space programme, civil aviation, foreign policy and diplomatic affairs, and tourism and culture.
“The result will be broad co-operation between two of the region’s most innovative and dynamic economies.
“The UAE and Israel wish to express their gratitude for the overwhelmingly positive response to this historic accord from governments around the world.
“We are especially grateful to President Trump for his leadership and to his administration for the critical role it has played in achieving this diplomatic breakthrough.
“We are also greatly encouraged by the broad bipartisan support for this breakthrough from the United States Congress.
Ben-Shabbat, who was appointed Israel Prime Minister’s national security adviser in 2017, read his second statement in Hebrew. The top-level US-Israel delegation was received at the airport by Dr. Anwar Gargash, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. The delegation will depart Abu Dhabi tomorrow. UAE is the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel after Egypt in 1978 and Jordan in 1994.