Israel hopes to sign normalization deal with UAE by mid-September: minister

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August 30, 2020, 03:56 AMlatest revision August 30, 2020, 12:57 PM

Signing ceremony to take place in Washington, D.C., exact date to be hammered out in talks with Abu Dhabi

Israel is hoping to sign a deal formalizing the normalization of ties with the United Arab Emirates by mid-September, Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis told Kan public broadcaster on Sunday. 

Akunis said that the exact date for the signing ceremony, which will take place in Washington, D.C., will be hammered out in the upcoming talks between Israeli and Emirati negotiators.

He told the broadcaster that Jerusalem was hoping to ink the accord before the Rosh Hashana holiday on September 18.

The statement comes as Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner landed in Israel Sunday, leading a high-profile US delegation set to accompany the Israeli negotiators when they head out to the UAE later this day.

Kushner was accompanied by US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brian, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz, and special Iran representative Brian Hook.

Before taking off for Abu Dhabi, the US officials will meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz.

Earlier, the UAE officially ended its boycott of Israeli businesses and goods, paving the way for companies from both countries to start doing business with each other.

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