The United Arab Emirates Removed the Blockade of Talks With Israel

The Ministry of Communications in the country removed the block in international calls, as well as the restriction on browsing Israeli websites. The move was inaugurated in a telephone conversation between the foreign minister and his colleague in the Gulf, which is being made public for the first time. Israel has tried to receive such a gesture in the past from other countries in the region, but without success.

The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Communications has lifted the ban on direct dialing in international telephone calls to Israel and browsing Israeli websites from the United Arab Emirates, senior officials in Israel confirmed today (Sunday). Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi inaugurated the removal of the blockade in a conversation with his colleague in the country, Abdullah Ben Zayed. To date, it has not been possible to make international direct-dial telephone calls between countries, and the CO.IL extension has been blocked in the country. Earlier, at a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that more countries in the region could join the United Arab Emirates and promote normalization with Israel.

The Foreign Ministry of the UAE has officially announced a phone call between the ministers. “During the telephone conversation between Abdullah Ben Zayed and Ashkenazi, the two expressed commitment to the implementation of the normalization agreement,” it was reported. The UAE announcement is a dramatic event in relations between the two countries. In the past, there have been telephone conversations between foreign ministers from Israel and the state in the Gulf. However, this is the first time this has been published in an official and public announcement.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat confirmed the details of the call. According to Hayat, the two ministers “jointly decided on the establishment of a direct communication channel between them prior to the signing of a normalization agreement between the two countries and decided to meet soon.”

Communications Minister Yoaz Handel welcomed the move. “Congratulates the UAE on removing the blockades,” he wrote on his Twitter account. “Many economic opportunities will open up now, and these confidence-building measures are an important step in advancing the interests of the countries. Salem Aleichem.”

For years, Israel has tried to receive normalization gestures from the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the Gulf in the form of the possibility of direct dialing in international telephone calls between the countries. The administration of former United States President Barack Obama has tried to promote such a package of gestures several times as part of his peace initiatives, but without success.


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