UAE, Israel to establish quarantine-free travel corridor

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The travel corridor, which will apply to passengers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, will help facilitate travel for commercial, tourism and official purposes, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

Thursday 11/03/2021

Mask-clad Israeli tourists visit the historic al-Fahidi neighbourhood of on January 11, 2021. (REUTERS)

DUBAI--The United Arab Emirates and Israel’s governments have entered formal talks to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor between the two countries to boost bilateral exchange following a normalisation deal, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

The travel corridor, which will apply to passengers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, will help facilitate travel for commercial, tourism and official purposes, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

Meetings between the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs are currently underway to negotiate the terms of the deal, with the aim of finalising and implementing the agreement in April 2021.

According to WAM, the two sides said the establishment of a travel corridor would increase the level of bilateral exchange in the wake of the historic Abraham Accords Peace Agreement and generate additional opportunities to reinforce economic and people-to-people ties.

The two sides also noted that discussions to establish such a corridor come in recognition of successful efforts by the UAE and Israel in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The leadership of the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel reiterated that strengthening global health security is a collective responsibility,” WAM reported.

“As models for the international community in combating Covid-19 through the provision of accessible care, the UAE and Israel underlined the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation to achieve an equitable and sustainable recovery from the pandemic,” the Emirati news agency added.

Israel and the UAE last year agreed on 28 direct weekly flights connecting Tel Aviv with Abu Dhabi and Dubai before Israel barred foreign flights to limit exposure to new virus strains.

Israel established formal relations with the UAE and Bahrain last September as part of a US-brokered agreement. The three countries share common concerns about Iran.

UAE and Israel are among the countries with the world’s fastest COVID-19 vaccination programmes.

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