UAE's largest banking group signs first deal with Israel

AFP Dubai, United Arab Emirates Sep 15, 2020, 07.50 AM(IST)

UAE-Israel peace agreement Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The President of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had scrapped an economic boycott against Israel, allowing trade and financial agreements between the countries.

The National Bank of Dubai, the largest banking group in the emirate, signed a memorandum of understanding Monday with Israel's Bank Hapoalim, on the eve of the UAE-Israel normalisation accord signing.

"It is a great honour to be the first bank to sign such an agreement that will contribute to the establishment of the relationship between the two countries," Bank Hapoalim’s CEO, Dov Kotler, said in a statement issued by NBD.

It said the MoU was "part of a broader engagement between the UAE and Israel to further peace, dialogue and stability and establish cooperation to promote sustainable development".

Also read: UAE scraps Israel economic boycott after US-brokered deal

The President of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had scrapped an economic boycott against Israel, allowing trade and financial agreements between the countries.

Israel and the UAE said on August 13 they would normalise diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by US President Donald Trump that reshapes the order of Middle East politics from the Palestinian issue to the fight against Iran.

Also read: Will other Arab countries follow suit to normalise ties with Israel?

Both the UAE and fellow Gulf state Bahrain will sign normalisation accords with Israel on September 15 in Washington. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said on Sunday the deal establishing relations between Israel and Bahrain will result in direct flights between the countries.

The Bahrain deal, announced on Friday, followed a similar accommodation between another Gulf power, United Arab Emirates, and Israel and resulting pledges of direct air connections.