UAE announces US$10b Israel investment fund

Published Fri, Mar 12, 2021 · 07:11 AM

[ABU DHABI] The United Arab Emirates on Thursday announced it was setting up a US$10 billion investment fund aimed at strategic sectors in Israel, with whom it normalised ties last year.

The decision, the UAE official news agency WAM said, was taken following a "constructive" phone call between Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Through the US$10 billion fund the UAE "will invest in and alongside Israel, across sectors including energy manufacturing, water, space, healthcare and agri-tech," it said.

Israel and the UAE established ties last year in a diplomatic coup for Mr Netanyahu brokered by his staunch ally, former US president Donald Trump.

The deal made the UAE only the third Arab state to establish relations with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan subsequently reached similar US-brokered agreements with Israel, in what has become known as the "Abraham Accords."

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"The fund builds on the historic Abraham Accord and aims to bolster economic ties between two of the region's thriving economies, unlocking investments and partnership opportunities to drive socio-economic progress," WAM said.

It said fund allocations "will derive from government and private sector institutions".

The announcement came as Mr Netanyahu cancelled a historic visit to the UAE on Thursday, citing a disagreement with Jordan over crossing its airspace.

Mr Netanyahu said the trip "was not possible due to a misunderstanding" with Jordan, with which it is bound by a peace treaty since 1994.

But said he spoke to Sheikh Mohammed, the UAE's de facto leader, and that the pair agreed to meet "very soon".

The Israeli prime minister also said the UAE would invest US$10 billion in investments in Israel.

AFP

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