UAE temporarily suspends visa-free deal with Israel

1/19/2021

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The Israeli Foreign Ministry has announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has temporarily suspended a visa-exemption deal with the Jewish state, citing coronavirus fears.

In a statement on Monday, Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat said that the UAE government has notified its Israeli counterparts that the implementation of the agreement has been suspended until July 1 "in the wake of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus", Xinhua news agency reported.

The decision was taken in accordance with a section of the agreement which says that both parties may suspend the implementation of the deal for reasons of public health fears, according to Haiat.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the UAE has implemented similar moves to restrict arrivals from other countries as well, including India, Pakistan, and some other European nations.

According to the Ministry, the visa waivers were supposed to take effect by February 13.

They were a key part of the Israeli-UAE normalisation deal signed in September 15, 2020.

The announcement came a day after Israel's cabinet decided to make it mandatory for all arrivals from the UAE to stay in quarantine AT a "coronavirus motel" run by the military for a period of 10-14 days.

Source: IANS

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