TEL AVIV – Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to reciprocal visa-free travel, making Emirati citizens the first in the Arab world to not require Israeli entry permits.
The deal was signed after the first ever official delegation from the UAE landed in Israel for a day of talks following an agreement to normalise ties signed at the White House last month.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wearing a mask as he greeted the UAE delegation at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, described the visit as “a glorious day for peace”.
“Today, we are making history in a way that will stand for generations,” the right-wing premier said of the Israeli-UAE accord, which has been angrily denounced by the Palestinians.
A United Arab Emirates delegation left on the country’s first official visit to Israel on Tuesday, with a string of deals set to be signed after the two countries signed a deal to normalise ties last month.
According to an Israeli government statement, the two sides are expected to sign agreements on aviation, investment protection, visa exemptions, and science and technology.
The two governments are also due to sign an agreement authorising 28 commercial flights a week between the countries, an Israeli transport ministry official said. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who attended a business dinner with Emirati and Israeli officials in Abu Dhabi on Monday, accompanied the delegation on the Etihad Airways flight.Â