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UAE approves visa exemption agreement with Israel, Foreign Ministry says

Times of Israel – Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday the United Arab Emirates has ratified the visa exemption agreement between the two countries, the first between the Jewish state and an Arab country.

The deal will go into effect in 30 days, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said, “The ratification of the agreement is a central part of the full and rapid realization of the many agreements that are being formed with the Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.”

Israel’s first such deal with an Arab country is now set to enter into force in 30 days’ time Click To Tweet

Israel’s cabinet approved its side of the deal, waiving visas for Emirati citizens, in late November. The UAE launched tourist visas for Israeli citizens last month as a stopgap measure until it ratified the exemption agreement.

Israel and the UAE have signed treaties on direct flights along with accords on investment, science and technology.

Tens of thousands of Israelis have visited the UAE since the historic normalization agreement with Israel was signed in September.

The UAE was considered a “green zone” after the normalization agreement, allowing for quarantine-free travel between the countries, but that loophole was closed last month amid climbing infection rates in both countries.

All international travelers are now required to quarantine upon return to Israel.

The UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have all announced US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel in recent months.

Morocco’s tourism minister said last month following its normalization deal that direct flights with Israel will begin in the coming months. Nadia Fettah Alaoui said “We welcome all Israeli tourists who want to come to Morocco.”

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