TE24 International Desk:
Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that it would lift the ban on “all airlines” using its airspace. It shows an open gesture towards Israel before the arrival of US President Joe Biden.
Despite Israel’s intense efforts to establish relations with Arab countries, U.S. leaders have welcomed Riyadh’s latest “reunification” move toward a Jewish state.
The Saudi Civil Aviation Authority has announced its decision to open the state’s airspace to all airlines that meet the authority’s flight requirements, a Twitter statement said. The decision was made “to complement the Kingdom’s efforts to consolidate the Kingdom’s position as a global hub connecting the three continents.”
“This decision is the result of months of lasting and principled diplomacy with Saudi Arabia and ended today during his visit,” said the US National Security Adviser. Biden is “appreciative,” Jack Sullivan said in a statement.
He said the US president, who will land in Saudi Arabia on Friday on a controversial trip as part of his Middle East tour, “needs to say more about this progress later today.”
Ahead of Biden’s arrival in Israel at the start of his Middle East tour on Wednesday, Washington hinted that more Arab countries could take steps to maintain relations with Israel, sparking speculation about whether Riyadh would change its long-standing position of not establishing a formal bilateral. Relations with the Palestinians until the dispute is settled.
The state showed no opposition when its regional ally, the United Arab Emirates, established diplomatic relations with Israel in 2020, then Bahrain and Morocco were under US-brokered Abraham Accords.
Yet analysts insist that any immediate gains are likely to be growing and that Riyadh will probably not agree to have a formal relationship – not during Biden’s visit or when King Salman, 86, reigns yet.
Biden will travel to the Saudi city of Jeddah on the shores of the Red Sea on Friday afternoon, despite earlier promises to consider the state a “pariah” over the 2018 assassination and secession of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
He is set to travel directly from the Jewish state to Saudi Arabia – becoming the first US president to recognize an Arab country.
Shortly after the announcement of the Abraham agreement in 2020, Saudi Arabia allowed Israeli planes to fly en route to Abu Dhabi, with flights to the UAE flying to “all nations” in the state. Announced that can be done. The announcement on Friday lifted flight restrictions for flights to and from Israel.
Israel has sought the right of the sky to shorten its connections to destinations in Asia. The Israeli authorities also want Muslim pilgrims from Israel to go directly to Saudi Arabia.