Israel’s Netanyahu postpones journey to UAE and Bahrain amid virus surge

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Feb 4, 2021

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has postponed his historic journey to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

“Despite the importance of the trip to Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to postpone the visit at this stage due to the closing of the skies,” learn a Thursday press launch from the prime minister’s workplace.

Netanyahu was scheduled to go to the 2 Gulf states subsequent week. However, Israel is at present experiencing a serious outbreak of COVID-19, regardless of its fast-paced vaccination marketing campaign. In late January, Israel instituted a flight ban to assist curb the unfold of the coronavirus. The prime minister’s workplace cited the air travel state of affairs as justification for suspending the UAE and Bahrain journeys.

Israel established relations with the UAE and Bahrain final 12 months as a part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords. The UAE and Bahrain had been solely the third and fourth Arab states to normalize ties with Israel after Egypt and Jordan. Since then, each international locations have signed quite a few agreements with Israel to strengthen their financial relations.

Postponing the journey is a blow to Netanyahu, who’s touting his diplomatic successes forward of Israel’s March 23 elections.

The journey would have been the primary by an Israeli head of presidency to the UAE and Bahrain.