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$3 Billion Investment Fund, Visa Exemption, to Lead UAE-Israel Normalization

$3 Billion Investment Fund, Visa Exemption, to Lead UAE-Israel Normalization

Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States have jointly established a $3 billion fund to promote regional economic cooperation across the Middle East, the countries announced on Tuesday. The joint investment initiative, to be called the Abraham Fund, was announced Tuesday at a ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport marking the arrival to Israel of the first official UAE government delegation. “The fund will enable its members to launch people-focused investments, providing opportunity and hope for the region and its youth by enabling them to build a future that serves them and their communities,” a statement issued jointly by the three countries reads. Representatives of the UAE and Israel are holding direct talks on Tuesday and signing agreements on a range of mutual issues. At the head of the UAE delegation is Economy Minister Abdullah bin Touq al-Mari and Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid al-Tayer. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met them on the tarmac of Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport outside of Tel Aviv, while US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin led a US delegation from the Trump administration at the ceremony. On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that the Jewish state and the UAE had agreed to allow reciprocal visa-free travel, making Emirati citizens the first in the Arab world to not require Israeli entry visas. On September 15, 2020, the UAE, Israel, Bahrain and the United States signed the Abraham Accord, which promises to normalize Israel’s relations with the two Gulf states. Late last week, the Israeli parliament ratified the accord.

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