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UAE announces $10 billion fund for investments in Israel

Abu Dhabi to put money into strategic sectors including energy manufacturing, water, space, healthcare and agri-tech

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left; United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan; and Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa; at the White House, Sept. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left; United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan; and Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa; at the White House, Sept. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates on Thursday announced it was setting up a $10 billion investment fund aimed at strategic sectors in Israel, with whom it normalized 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 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Through the $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 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.”

“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 Netanyahu canceled a historic visit to the UAE on Thursday, citing a disagreement with Jordan over crossing its airspace.

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 he said he spoke to Sheikh Mohammed, the UAE’s de facto leader, and that the pair agreed to meet “very soon.”

Netanyahu also said the UAE would invest $10 billion in Israel.

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