AMERICA — Jared Kushner, the head of the delegation of senior US and Israeli officials, made the first direct flight between Tel Aviv (Israel) and the United Arab Emirates on Monday, August 31. The journey made aviation history by becoming the first commercial Israeli aircraft to fly across Saudi airspace.
“While this is a historic flight, we hope that it will start an even more historic journey in the Middle East and beyond,” Kushner said just before boarding the flight.
The word “peace” was written above the cockpit in Arabic, Hebrew and English. The development is a sign that “so much peace is possible in this region,” Kushner said.
This progress is the first step in alleviating relationship between the two countries by signing a pact has officially established diplomatic relations with Israel. It is the third Arab state to follow this path after Egypt and Jordan.
After landing in Abu Dhabi, Kushner thanked Saudi Arabia for allowing the jet to pass through its airspace.
The delegations will now hold talks in the UAE, with the goal of encouraging cooperation in areas including aviation, tourism, trade, health, energy and security.
Kushner is scheduled to have peace and progress talks with Israel’s national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed.
Israeli officials hope the two-day trip will lead to a signing ceremony between Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan as early as September in Washington.
Although Saudi Arabia opened its airspace to the flight, it has shown signs that it is not ready to take the signing step yet.
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, said to Dailymail that Kushner and his team were “scrambling to convince as many Arab and Muslim leaders as possible” to give Trump an election boost.
“They will be a prop at the backdrop of a meaningless spectacle for a ridiculous agreement that will not bring peace to the region,” she said.