Israel signed a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, in its first major trade deal with an Arab state aimed at boosting trade between the two Middle Eastern countries.
The pact was signed by Israel’s Economy and Industry Minister Orna Barbiva and her counterpart, UAE Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, after months of negotiations.
“Done,” Israel’s ambassador to the UAE, Amir Hayek, said on Twitter, responding to another message he posted earlier saying that “the UAE and Israel will sign the FTA (free trade agreement) in the next hour.”
For the oil-rich UAE, the deal with Israel marks its second bilateral free trade deal, after signing a similar deal with India in February. In addition, it maintains bilateral trade negotiations with other countries, such as Indonesia and South Korea.
The United Arab Emirates has vigorously pursued these types of agreements, in an attempt to strengthen its economy after the blow suffered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates established ties in September 2020, in a US-brokered deal that broke with decades of Arab policy of calling for a Palestinian state before establishing ties with Israel.
Bahrain and Morocco also recognized Israel the same year.
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