UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja announced on Wednesday evening, March 10 that the "the UAE and Israel are in talks to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor, with the aim of finalizing and implementing the agreement in April 2021." This is a major new milestone in relations and comes amid reports that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to the UAE on Thursday. His trip will be momentous because. three previous trips had to be postponed.
The two sides noted that discussions to establish such a corridor come in recognition of successful efforts by the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visa-free travel was also postponed and Israel's airport has been closed. However the vaccination success in Israel is rapidly moving forward with some 5 million vaccinated. The UAE is the world's second leading vaccination success story, with the UK and US close behind.
Now with Israel opening up the UAE and Israel might establish a travel corridor.
Details from the UAE government:
The Governments of the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel have entered into formal discussions to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor between the two countries. The travel corridor, which would apply to passengers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, will facilitate travel for commercial, tourism, and official purposes.
Meetings between the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs are currently underway to negotiate the terms of the agreement, with the aim of finalizing and implementing the agreement in April 2021.
The two sides affirmed that the establishment of a travel corridor between the UAE and Israel would increase the level of bilateral exchange in the wake of the historic Abraham Accords Peace Agreement and generate additional opportunities to reinforce economic and people-to-people ties.
The two sides noted that discussions to establish such a corridor come in recognition of successful efforts by the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As the two countries leading the world’s fastest vaccination campaigns, the UAE and Israel expressed their shared commitment to demonstrating that ending the pandemic requires widespread, effective vaccination and coordination between countries.
The leadership of the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel reiterated that strengthening global health security is a collective responsibility. As models for the international community in combating COVID-19 through the provision of accessible care, the UAE and Israel underlined the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation to achieve an equitable and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.
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