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August 30, 2020 10:00 am

Netanyahu Welcomes UAE Cancellation of Anti-Israel Boycott

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the first working cabinet meeting of the new government at the Chagall Hall in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem May 24, 2020. Photo: Abir Sultan/Pool via REUTERS. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the United Arab Emirates for canceling its anti-Israel boycott.

“I welcome the decision of United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed to cancel the law on boycotting products from Israel and economic contacts with Israelis. This is an important step in promoting prosperity and peace in the region,” Netanyahu said in a statement on Saturday.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi called the UAE decision “an important step towards peace, which will yield substantial economic and commercial achievements for both people while strengthening the stability in the region. I praise the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for this historic decision and call upon other countries to follow the UAE’s brave footsteps.”

The Israeli leaders were referring to a federal decree, issued over the weekend by the UAE president, abolishing a 1972 law “regarding boycotting Israel and the penalties thereof,” the Emirates News Agency reported.

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According to the report, “The Decree comes as part of the UAE’s efforts to expand diplomatic and commercial cooperation with Israel.”

The report further stated, “Following the abolition of the Israel Boycott Law, individuals and companies in the UAE may enter into agreements with bodies or individuals residing in Israel or belonging to it by their nationality, in terms of commercial, financial operations, or any other dealings of any nature.”

The agreement between the UAE and Israel to work toward normalizing relations was first announced by US President Donald Trump on August 13.

A joint Israeli-US delegation is scheduled to fly to Abu Dhabi on Monday for talks with Emirati officials on hammering out details of the agreement, called the “Abraham Accord.”

The El Al Airlines commercial flight will be the first official direct trip from Israel to a Gulf Arab state.

Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat will lead the Israeli delegation. The American delegation will be led by White House senior adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and outgoing US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.

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