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Washington, D.C. (MEMO– Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will open their airspace to allow all flights to and from Israel, White House adviser Jared Kushner announced.

He added that any Israeli flights would have to ask for a permit from Saudi authorities beforehand.

“They agreed to open their airspace not just to flights from Israel to the United Arab Emirates and back, but to all eastward travel,” said Kushner.

“So when people make requests, they’ll grant those requests. That will save people a lot of time. That knocks down a barrier that’s been up for 72 years.”

Related: First Area of UAE-Israel Cooperation: Spying on Dissidents and Journalists

Last week, Bahrain announced it will allow Israeli planes to use its airspace to and from the UAE, following Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow similar flights at the request of the Emirates, which has already received the first direct flight from Tel Aviv since the two countries normalized relations last month.

Bahrain, which earlier this year said that Israel has a right to defend itself against Palestinians, and Saudi Arabia does not presently have diplomatic ties with Israel and has recently declared its opposition to normalization without Palestinian statehood.

However, according to Israel broadcaster Kan, Bahrain is expected to follow the UAE once Israel and the Emirates have signed their peace accord in Washington DC at the end of this month.

This work was originally written for and published by Middle East Monitor and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Image: Flickr – Gage Skidmore

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