IIsrael and the United Arab Emirates, which normalized diplomatic relations in 2020, signed a free trade agreement on Tuesday, the first of its kind between the Jewish state and an Arab country. “Congratulations,” Israel’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Amir Hayek, exclaimed in Arabic on Twitter, accompanying his message with a photo showing Israeli and Emirati officials holding a document during a signing ceremony in Dubai, Emirates. Talks for a free trade agreement between the two countries began last November and were concluded in early April after four negotiating sessions.
1er April, Israel had described as “historic” this agreement abolishing customs barriers for “96% of the products” exchanged between the two parties, whose trade amounted to 900 million dollars (814.4 million euros) in 2021, according to official Israeli data.
Agreements under the aegis of the United States
The Emirates and Bahrain normalized relations with Israel in 2020 under a series of agreements negotiated with the United States. Morocco followed suit, while Sudan also agreed to normalize ties with Israel, although it has yet to finalize the deal. Israel hosted a diplomatic meeting in March with the Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the United States on the occasion of a tour of the region by the head of the American diplomacy, Antony Blinken.