Israel phone lines open after accord to normalize ties


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The UAE’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither did the UAE’s two main telecoms operators Du and Etisalat.

The UAE-Israel agreement says Israeli and UAE delegations will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements covering sectors including investment, tourism and direct flights and the opening of reciprocal embassies.

On Saturday, the first business deal was signed since the accord. Emirati APEX National Investment company and Israel’s Tera Group will cooperate on research and development related to COVID-19, including a testing device.

The UAE foreign ministry in a statement to Reuters said the country expects an agreement on reciprocal visas, saying more details will be announced in due course.

Currently Israelis wishing to visit the UAE, and Emiratis wanting to visit Israel, can get special visas assessed on a case-by-case basis by the inviting government, spokespeople for the UAE Foreign Ministry and Israel’s Interior Ministry said.

Numerous Israeli citizens and officials have visited the UAE for sporting events and international conferences. Israel’s culture and sports minister in October 2018 came to watch Israelis compete in an international judo tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Israel is a confirmed participant at the Expo 2020 Dubai world fair, which has been postponed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Reporting by Lisa Barrington in Dubai and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Editing by Susan Fenton, David Goodman and Barbara Lewis)

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