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Israel, UAE Advance Economic, Diplomatic Ties

Israel and the United Arab Emirates continued their march toward normalization over the weekend as the UAE announced it was lifting a 48-year boycott of Israel while the Jewish state finalized plans for the first official flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi. On Saturday, UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a decree withdrawing the sweeping economic sanctions placed on any entity conducting business with Israeli companies. The move is expected to facilitate trade between the two countries. On Sunday, a US delegation headed by Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, was due to arrive in Israel and meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz. The American team, consisting also of National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz and Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, will fly to Abu Dhabi on Monday, together with senior Israeli officials, aboard the historic flight.