Israel, Bahrain tourism ministers speak, discuss joint ventures with UAE

The flags of Israel, UAE, and Bahrain are projected on the ramparts of Jerusalem's Old City on September 15, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 17 September 2020

Israel, Bahrain tourism ministers speak, discuss joint ventures with UAE

  • The tourism ministers of Israel and Bahrain discussed possible ventures including three-way travel packages involving the UAE
  • In an interview, Zamir said he hopes tourism between Israel and the UAE could start early next year

JERUSALEM/DUBAI: The tourism ministers of Israel and Bahrain held a first publicly acknowledged phone call on Thursday and discussed possible ventures including three-way travel packages involving the United Arab Emirates, an Israeli statement said.
The conversation between Israel’s Asaf Zamir and Bahrain’s Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani followed a White House ceremony on Tuesday at which their countries pledged to establish relations. The UAE and Israel also formalized ties at the same event.
In an interview with a local Emirati newspaper, Zamir said he hopes tourism between Israel and the UAE could start early next year.
“Agreements to do with visas and tourism are at an advanced stage, and the two sides are expected to reach a deal soon,” Al-Ittihad newspaper quoted the Israeli minister as saying on Thursday.
Emirates Flight Catering also said earlier it had signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a dedicated production facility, Kosher Arabia, for kosher food at its premises in the UAE with production beginning in January.


Turkey irked over joint declaration by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt

Updated 45 min 13 sec ago

Turkey irked over joint declaration by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt

  • The joint statement also asked Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to enter negotiations for an agreement on maritime delimitations

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday slammed a joint statement by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt that condemns Turkish energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and numerous “provocations” that they maintain are threatening regional peace.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it “fully rejected the declaration containing baseless accusations and allegations.”
During a trilateral regional summit on Wednesday in Nicosia, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged Ankara to end its “aggressive” actions.
The joint statement also asked Turkey to accept Cyprus’ invitation to enter negotiations for an agreement on maritime delimitations. Greece and Cyprus have signed maritime border agreements with Egypt while dismissing a similar deal that Ankara signed with Libya’s Tripoli-based government as “legally invalid.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the declaration attacked Ankara rather than supporting peace and stability in the region. It repeated Turkey’s position that cooperation could only take place with the inclusion of Turkish Cypriots in governing and sharing the resources of the ethnically divided island nation.
“We will continue with determination to protect our rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean,” the ministry statement said.
The trilateral summit took place amid high tensions between nominal NATO allies Greece and Turkey over maritime borders and energy rights.
In late summer, Turkey dispatched a research vessel escorted by warships to conduct seismic research in a part of the Mediterranean Sea that Greece claims as its territory, which prompted the Greek government to deploy its own warships.
Turkey pulled the research ship back to shore for several weeks for maintenance and to allow time for diplomacy but redeployed the Oruc Reis on a new energy exploration mission. A maritime announcement by Turkey says the Oruc Reis and two other ships would continue working in the area until Oct. 27.
Turkey also has had ships prospecting for oil and gas reserves in waters that Cyprus claims as its exclusive economic zone.