Aug 25, 2020 - World

Kushner to take first Israel-UAE flight, launch normalization talks

Kushner (center) at the announcement of the normalization deal. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Jared Kushner will travel next Monday on the first direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi following a U.S.-brokered normalization agreement, the White House and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office announced.

Why it matters: Kushner’s trip will facilitate the beginning of direct talks on various aspects of the Israel-UAE normalization process amid tensions over a pending sale of F-35 jets from the U.S. to the UAE.

  • Kushner will be joined on the flight by a senior Israeli delegation led by Israel's national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat.
  • In addition to Kushner, the U.S. delegation is expected to include national security adviser Robert O'Brien, special envoy Avi Berkowitz and Iran envoy Brian Hook, according to a White House official.
  • They will meet Sunday in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
  • On Monday, the group will travel to Abu Dhabi for multiple meetings. The talks will focus on cooperation in civil aviation, tourism, trade, finance, health, energy and security, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office said.

The latest: The UAE canceled a planned trilateral meeting with the U.S. and Israel last Friday to send a message to Netanyahu over his opposition to a pending arms deal between the U.S. and UAE. Go deeper.

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