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AFP
March 12, 2021

Netanyahu shelves UAE trip following spat with Jordan

AFP
March 12, 2021

OCCUPIED-AL-QUDS: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a historic visit to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, citing a disagreement with Jordan over crossing its airspace.

The prime minister "was expected to visit the United Arab Emirates today," Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. "However, his visit was postponed due to difficulties in coordinating his flight in Jordanian airspace."

The statement said that the overflight row stemmed from the cancellation by Israel of a planned visit on Wednesday by Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein to the Al-Aqsa mosque, in annexed east al-Quds.

The prince’s visit was called off following "a dispute over security and safety arrangements at the site," the Israeli statement said. Netanyahu later told reporters that the his UAE trip "was not possible due a misunderstanding with Jordan."

"I can travel over Jordan and the trip (to the UAE) will take place soon," he said. Jordan has subsequently cleared Netanyahu’s plane for travel, according to the premier’s office.

Commenting on the fracas surrounding the Al-Aqsa visit at a press conference in Paris, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said: "We had agreed with Israel on the arrangements for the visit.

"But we were surprised at the last moment that Israel wanted to impose new arrangements." The new arrangements Israel sought were "rejected," Safadi told reporters, without commenting on the air space issue.