United Arab Emirates and Israel establish first direct telephone contact

The flags of Israel and the United Arab Emirates fluttering along a road in Netanya, Israel, August 16, 2020. Jack Guez / AFP

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In Israel, the standardization agreement with the United Arab Emirates continues to be celebrated. On the Emirati side, the communications ministry for the first time allowed direct telephone calls to Israel, as well as access to Israeli websites.


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With our correspondent in Jerusalem, Michel Paul

After the announcement of a normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, it's time for action. Since direct telephone connections are part of this agreement, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi inaugurated the initiative during a conversation with his Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed on Sunday (August 16th).

The two officials jointly decided to establish a direct channel of communication between them, even before the signing of the agreement to normalize relations between the Hebrew state and the Emirates. They also plan to meet soon.

► Read also: Arab countries divided over the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates

Netanyahu does not give up on his idea of ​​annexing parts of the West Bank

Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel hailed the Gulf state's decision: “  It is a small step, but it is very important for establishing diplomatic, economic and personal ties. And this is a great opportunity to make peace with our Emirati friends.  "

According to a poll, nearly 77% of Israelis prefer normalization with the United Arab Emirates to annexation of parts of the West Bank. Only 16.5% of those questioned would have chosen the second option. But contrary to US statements, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed during the weekly cabinet that the idea of ​​annexation was still on the agenda.

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  • Israel
  • United Arab Emirates

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