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August 16, 2020 12:05 pm

Israeli and UAE Foreign Ministers Hold First Official Phone Call, Pledge to Meet Soon

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, speaks to supporters at his election campaign event in Tel Aviv, Israel, September 15, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen.

The United Arab Emirates opened direct telephone lines to Israel and its foreign minister spoke directly to his Israeli counterpart for the first time on Sunday following the two countries’ agreement on Thursday to normalize ties.

According to Israeli news website Walla, the UAE’s Communications Ministry officially lifted its ban on direct dialing from Israel to the Gulf state.

The first call made on the newly opened lines was between Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and his UAE counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed.

The two men reportedly pledged to implement the normalization agreement between the two countries, establish a direct communications channel between the two of them, and meet in the near future.

While such conversations have taken place in the past, this is the first time one has been publicly announced and acknowledged.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated at a cabinet meeting that this may be only the first step in a larger process.

“I expect more countries to join us in the circle of peace,” he said, and added that this process would also promote peace with the Palestinians.

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