President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner will lead a U.S. delegation next week on the first commercial flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates more than two weeks after the two countries reached a peace agreement brokered by Trump.
Kushner will be joined by national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and envoy for Iran Brian Hook, The Associated Press reported citing anonymous administration officials.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, will lead Israel's delegation from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi aboard an El-Al airliner emblazoned in the country’s national colors of blue and white and Star of David emblem.
Discussion with UAE officials will include flights and tourism, trade, business, energy, security and health, including the coronavirus pandemic, Netanyahu said.
“This is a historic agreement,” Netanyahu said. “It will spur growth. It will help bring general economic growth, especially during the coronavirus era. I hope that other countries in our region will join the circle of peace.”
Kushner and the U.S. delegation are to leave this weekend for its Mideast tour, which also is to include visits to Bahrain, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Israel to UAE flight appears to have the blessing of Saudi Arabia, which has allowed it to traverse Saudi airspace. Without it, the flight would need to take a circuitous path around Yemen and through the Persian Gulf.
The Kushner-led trip is the second of two high-profile Mideast trips by U.S. officials, following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is in Bahrain on the third stop of an itinerary that began in Israel and Sudan.
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