‘Important Step’: UAE ends boycott on Israel

August 30, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed on Saturday signed an order cancelling the law on boycotting products from Israel and economic contacts with Israelis, a phase ahead of the full normalization of ties with Israel.

Flags of the United Arab Emirates and Israel together flies on bridges in the city of Netanya, central Israel, in celebration of the peace agreement between the countries. Netanya, Aug 17, 2020. Photo by Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS

The order enables the import of Israeli goods and the signing of contracts with Israeli firms and abolishes the 1972 state law that upholds an economic boycott on Israel and the sanctions associated with it.

“The Decree comes as part of the UAE’s efforts to expand diplomatic and commercial cooperation with Israel, and by laying out a roadmap towards launching joint cooperation, leading to bilateral relations by stimulating economic growth and promoting technological innovation,” the UAE official WAM news stated.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the decision as “an important step in promoting prosperity and peace in the region.”

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi welcomed the emirate’s move, saying it was an important step towards peace and called on more Arab countries “to tread the brave path led by the UAE.”

“The lifting of the boycott on Israel is an important step towards real peace, which will yield economic and commercial achievements for both peoples and strengthen stability in the Middle East,” he said.

He also thanked the Foreign Ministry staff who “for two decades, acted in secret and laid the diplomatic foundation for economic relations between Israel and the Emirates, the fruits of which we see today.”

This development occurred two days before a delegation from Jerusalem is slated to arrive in Abu Dhabi, the first formal flight from Israel to the UAE.

On August 13, the US, Israel and the UAE announced the agreement to fully normalize relations between Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem.

This agreement is the first between a Gulf state and Israel and is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Bahrain, Oman or Saudi Arabia.

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