Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid said during his visit to Abu Dhabi that the visit, and the push that the new Israeli government is giving to relations with the Gulf states, have economic motives. In response to a question from "Globes", he said that we were in a difficult period from an economic point of view, and that the potential of the economic , commercial, and diplomatic ties with the UAE and the Gulf states was huge, and would help in overcoming the economic difficulties.
Lapid said that the Abraham Accords had created a win-win situation, and that the aim was to expand them as much as possible, perhaps also to other countries in the region. He refused to be specific, but said that under the radar there were connections with countries with which Israel did not have diplomatic relations. He said that most of his three-hour talk with UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed centered on economic subjects.
Lapid signed framework agreements on economic cooperation between the two countries with his UAE counterpart, agreements that strengthen the previous economic agreements and that will facilitate further cooperation.
Talking to Israeli journalists, Lapid said that his meetings and talks with officials in the US administration indicated that the Democratic administration also wished to promote these agreements, but, unlike the previous administration, not at the expense of the Palestinians.
On the agreement with the UAE company for transporting oil via the Eilat Ashdod Pipeline to Ashdod and thence to Europe, Lapid said that the matter had not arisen in his conversation with his UAE colleague. "The matter needs to be studied," he said, "but we don’t want to see another ecological disaster such as has already happened, and we don’t want to harm the environment. We have a small country to protect."
Under the Agreement on Economic and Trade Cooperation that the two foreign ministers signed, the Israeli and UAE governments commit to open up economic relations and a free flow of goods and services, as well as cooperation on trade fairs, exchange of experts and know how, exchanges of delegations, cooperation on standards and regulation, encouragement of cooperation by the private sector, encouragement of R&D, agritech, and more.
The agreement needs to be ratified by both governments. It will be in force for five years, and will renew automatically for five year periods. It calls for the formation of a joint economic committee headed by the economic ministries of the two countries, to promote implementation of the agreement and to examine ways of increasing trade and removing trade barriers.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 30, 2021
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021