First Emirati passenger flight lands in Israel

First Emirati passenger flight lands in Israel
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Etihad Airways flight EY 9607 from Abu Dhabi landed at Ben Gurion airport, above, early Monday morning to pick up Israeli tourism professionals. (Twitter: @etihad)
First Emirati passenger flight lands in Israel
2 / 2
Etihad Airways flight EY 9607 from Abu Dhabi landed at Ben Gurion airport, above, early Monday morning to pick up Israeli tourism professionals. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 19 October 2020

First Emirati passenger flight lands in Israel

First Emirati passenger flight lands in Israel
  • The plane picked up Israeli tourism professionals, who would be flying to the UAE for a two-day trip visit

JERUSALEM: The first ever passenger flight from the United Arab Emirates to Israel landed near Tel Aviv on Monday, a month after the countries signed an agreement normalizing ties.
Etihad Airways flight EY 9607 from Abu Dhabi landed at Ben Gurion airport early in the morning with only crew on board, a spokeswoman for the Israel Airports Authority said.
The plane picked up Israeli tourism professionals, who would be flying to the UAE for a two-day trip visit organized by Israeli company Maman Group, the spokeswoman said.


The UAE carrier said it had made “history.”
“Etihad has become the first Gulf airline to operate a passenger flight to Israel. And this is only the beginning,” the airline said on Twitter.
Etihad planes had landed in Ben Gurion with medical supplies in May and June to help the Palestinians cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

 


The Palestinians, who object the agreement Israel forged with the UAE, refused to receive the aid.
In August, Israel and the UAE announced that they had reached a US-brokered deal to normalize ties, following years of discreet economic and security cooperation.
Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, ratified the UAE deal last week.
The UAE and Israel were due on Tuesday to sign an agreement to have 28 weekly commercial flights between the countries, a transportation ministry official said.
In Manama on Sunday, Israel and Bahrain signed a deal to establish relations, making the UAE and Bahrain only the third and fourth Arab states to normalize ties with Israel, following Israel’s 1979 peace deal with Egypt and a 1994 pact with Jordan.


President-elect Biden: Last thing Middle East needs is Iran with nuclear weapon

Updated 31 min 5 sec ago

President-elect Biden: Last thing Middle East needs is Iran with nuclear weapon

President-elect Biden: Last thing Middle East needs is Iran with nuclear weapon
  • Said Tehran would have to agree to new demands if return to deal was possible
  • Added Tehran must address its “malign” regional activities through proxies

LONDON: US President-elect Joe Biden said he is against Iran gaining a nuclear weapon, adding it is the “last thing” the Middle East region needs, in an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday.

Biden also said that his administration would seek to extend the duration of “restrictions on Iran’s production of fissile material that could be used to make a (nuclear) bomb” in any new negotiations on a nuclear deal.

He added that Tehran would have to agree to new demands if a return to a deal was possible and that it must address its “malign” regional activities through proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Incumbent President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal struck in 2018 and reimposed strong sanctions on Iran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic republic.

Biden, who defeated Trump at the ballot box last month, said during campaigning that he did not support the lifting of sanctions but intended to offer Iran a “credible path back to diplomacy.”

However, in the NYT interview published on Wednesday, he admitted that getting Iran to agree to a modified deal would be “hard.”

“Look, there’s a lot of talk about precision missiles and all range of other things that are destabilizing the region,” Biden was quoted as saying.

“The best way to achieve getting some stability in the region” was to deal “with the nuclear program,” he added.

The president-elect warned that if Iran acquired a bomb, it would spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and that “the last . . . thing we need in that part of the world is a buildup of nuclear capability,” he added.

“In consultation with our allies and partners, we’re going to engage in negotiations and follow-on agreements to tighten and lengthen Iran’s nuclear constraints, as well as address the missile program,” he told the Times.

Biden was cited as saying that the US always had the option to snap back sanctions if needed, and that Iran knew that.

The JCPOA had given Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

* With AFP