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Netanyahu calls opening of Saudi skies 'huge breakthrough’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi hailed Saudi Arabia's decision to open its airspace to "all countries" following the UAE-Israel deal.
An Emirati official stands near an air-plane of El Al, which carried a US-Israeli delegation to the UAE following a normalisation accord, upon it's arrival at the Abu Dhabi airport in the first-ever commercial flight from Israel to the UAE, on August 31, 2020. - A US-Israeli delegation including White House advisor Jared Kushner took off on a historic first direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi to mark the normalisation of ties between the Jewish state and the UAE. (Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the announcement by Saudi Arabia earlier today allowing flights “from all countries” to cross over its airspace while traveling to or from the United Arab Emirates.

The Saudi announcement did not mention Israel, but clearly means that flights from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi and back can take the shortest route. Instead of seven and a half hours, a Tel Aviv-Abu Dhabi flight will now take only three. The first commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi on Aug. 31, operated by the Israeli national carrier El Al, received an exceptional authorization from Riyadh to take that route. 

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