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Bahrain OKs use of its airspace for new Israel-UAE flights

The Arabic, English and Hebrew words for peace are seen Monday on the inaugural El Al flight to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo by Nir Elias/UPI/Pool
The Arabic, English and Hebrew words for "peace" are seen Monday on the inaugural El Al flight to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo by Nir Elias/UPI/Pool | License Photo

Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The government of Bahrain says it will allow Israeli commercial carriers in its airspace to fly a new route to the United Arab Emirates.

Bahrain's Transportation Ministry said in a statement Thursday it will allow all Israeli flights to the UAE to fly over its borders.

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Bahrain's move joins Saudi Arabia, which first allowed the Israeli fights to and from the UAE. The flights are part of a new diplomatic agreement the two Middle Eastern nations signed last month.

Bahrain said its decision came after the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority made a request to use its airspace. It has not yet, however, led to greater cooperation between Bahrain and Israel.

Bahrain's king told White House presidential adviser Jared Kushner, who is leading Trump's Middle East peace effort, that it would follow Saudi Arabia's lead in normalization talks.

Saudi Arabia has said it would not move toward normalization unless Israel agrees to an Arab Peace Initiative with the Palestinians drawn up in 2002.

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