UAE flights to ‘all nations’ can overfly Saudi

In this Monday, August 31, 2020 file photo, an official stands at the door of an Israeli El Al airliner after it landed in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.   | Photo Credit: AP

Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow UAE flights to “all countries” to overfly the kingdom, state media reported on Wednesday, days after allowing an Israeli aircraft to pass over en route to Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia has accepted an Emirati request to allow “crossing the kingdom’s airspace for flights heading to the UAE and departing from it to all countries”, the official Saudi Press Agency said, citing a source from the civil aviation authority.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Monday’s historic first commercial flight of an Israeli aircraft direct to the UAE across Saudi Arabia would not be the last.

“Israeli planes and those from all countries will be able to fly directly from Israel to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and back,” Mr. Netanyahu said, without giving any timeline.

The announcements come after a U.S.-Israeli delegation visited Abu Dhabi on Monday, on the first direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv.

Saudi Arabia has said it will not follow the UAE in establishing diplomatic ties with Israel until the Jewish state has signed a peace accord with the Palestinians.

But the kingdom has cultivated clandestine relations with Israel in recent years, in a shift spearheaded by de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 3:40:09 PM |

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