LIVE
News
Netanyahu shelves UAE trip following spat with Jordan
Israeli premier’s office says visit was postponed ‘due to difficulties in coordinating his flight in Jordan’s airspace’, but did not set a new date.
Israel established formal relations with the UAE and Bahrain last September [File: Miriam Alster/REUTERS]
11 Mar 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a historic visit to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, citing a disagreement with Jordan over crossing its airspace.
A statement from the premier’s office said he “was expected to visit the United Arab Emirates today but, due to difficulties in coordinating his flight in Jordan’s airspace, the visit was postponed.”
KEEP READING
Israel’s Netanyahu to visit UAE on Thursday
After outcry, Israeli museum calls off sale of Islamic art
Israel arrests former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Ikrima Sabri
It did not set a new date.
The Hebrew-language statement said that the overflight row “apparently stemmed” from the cancellation by Israel of a planned visit Wednesday by Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein to the Al-Aqsa mosque in occupied east Jerusalem.
The prince’s visit was called off following “a dispute over security and safety arrangements at the site,” the Israeli statement said.
There was no immediate comment from Amman.
Oded Eran, a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan, said the latest spat between Israel and Jordan reflected a deeper deterioration in relations in recent years.
“The major problem is there is no dialogue between the No. 1’s, that is the prime minister and the king of Jordan,” he said, saying the two leaders are not known to have met or spoken for at least three years.
Eran also said there is a lack of trust, highlighted by Israel’s plans last year to annex parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Israeli media had reported the planned visit on Wednesday, saying Netanyahu would meet Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Commentators deemed it as a chance for Netanyahu to flourish his diplomatic credentials ahead of Israel’s March 23 election.
The UAE had not formally confirmed the visit – the first by the prime minister to the Gulf power – nor that it was being reviewed.
Normalisation of relations
Israel established formal relations with the UAE and Bahrain last September – only its third and fourth normalisation deals with Arab states in more than 70 years – as part of a US-brokered agreement. The three countries share common concerns about Iran.
The US-brokered deal under former President Donald Trump required Israel to halt its contentious plan to annex the already illegally occupied West Bank – a step which could have scuppered the possibility of a future Palestinian state.
Israel and the four Arab nations agreed to announce deals such as tourism and direct flights, and open embassies.
Saudi Arabia, a Gulf powerhouse and Islam’s birthplace, encouraged the rapprochement but has stopped short of recognising Israel itself.
Netanyahu, running in politically polarised Israel’s fourth election in two years largely on his role in its rapid COVID-19 vaccination programme, has also made his drive to forge new relations in the Gulf region a centrepiece of his campaign.
The most detailed of the accords was with the UAE. The nations agreed to approve bilateral deals on 15 areas of mutual interest, including finance, trade, aviation, energy, telecommunications, health, agriculture and water.
The two countries had nurtured clandestine security ties for years over a shared distrust of regional foe Iran.
In an interview with Israeli Army Radio on Tuesday, Netanyahu called on voters to re-elect him on March 23 so he could achieve “more peace agreements” in the area while ensuring Iran “doesn’t arm itself with nuclear weapons”.
Iran denies its nuclear programme is aimed at developing atomic weaponry.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES
RELATED
Israel’s Netanyahu to visit UAE on Thursday
Israeli media reports PM will hold talks with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
10 Mar 2021
Israel arrests former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Ikrima Sabri
Relatives of Sheikh Ikrima Sabri say Israeli forces did not give a reason why he was taken into custody.
10 Mar 2021
After outcry, Israeli museum calls off sale of Islamic art
Art experts criticised the attempted sale to private collectors saying it was hidden from the public.
10 Mar 2021
MORE FROM NEWS
New Zealand to accept return of woman linked to ISIL (ISIS)
Tunisia’s democracy is in crisis. Here’s a timeline of key events
New rules have China private education firms bracing for a hit
COVID turmoil disrupts routine vaccinations in Indonesia
MOST READ
Indonesia extends COVID curbs by a week as hospitals deluged
Tunisia’s president accused of ‘coup’ after dismissing PM
The Taliban explained
Malaysia doctors strike, parliament meets as COVID strain shows
Advertisement
About
Connect
Our Channels
Our Network
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2021 Al Jazeera Media Network
 
You rely on Al Jazeera for truth and transparency
We understand that your online privacy is very important and consenting to our collection of some personal information takes great trust. We ask for this consent because it allows Al Jazeera to provide an experience that truly gives a voice to the voiceless.
You have the option to decline the cookies we automatically place on your browser but allowing Al Jazeera and our trusted partners to use cookies or similar technologies helps us improve our content and offerings to you. You can change your privacy preferences at any time by selecting ‘Cookie preferences’ at the bottom of your screen. To learn more, please view our Cookie Policy.
Dismiss
Cookie preferences