‘It’s official’: Saudis open airspace to Israelis

Enemies for decades, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been taking steps towards normalization in recent years due to shared concerns regarding Iran. 

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli airlines now have permission to fly directly to and from Saudi Arabia.

The decision – also perceived as a win for the Biden administration – was announced early Friday, just hours ahead of the American president’s flight to Jeddah following a three-day visit to Israel, including a meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

“This decision is the result of the President’s persistent and principled diplomacy with Saudi Arabia over many months, culminating in his visit today,” US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid celebrated the news.

“After a long road of intense and covert diplomacy with Saudi Arabia and the United States, today we have good news. The Saudi aviation authorities have announced that they will be opening Saudi airspace to Israeli airlines,” he stated.

“This decision was preceded by the signing of the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’, deepening America’s commitment to Israel’s security, the fight against the Iranian nuclear program and the advancing of normalization initiatives of the Abraham Accords and the Negev Summit.

“I would like to thank the President of the United States, Joe Biden, for a visit that moved our entire country and for his commitment to Israel’s military and diplomatic strength. I wish him success at the Jeddah Summit,” Lapid said.

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“I thank the Saudi leadership for the opening of Saudi airspace. This is only the first step. We will continue working with necessary caution, for the sake of Israel’s economy, security and the good of our citizens.”

“It’s official!” Minister of Transport and Road Safety Merav Michaeli MK said, welcoming the announcement.

“This is an important step by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that will significantly shorten flight times and lower prices of flights between Israel and the east.

“Above all, it is another step towards better and stronger relations with the countries of the Middle East, relations which will bring critical benefits to our security and to our economy,” she said.

It’s also good news for Muslim Israelis who wish to participate in annual pilgrimages to Mecca.

Enemies for decades, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been taking steps towards normalization in recent years due to shared concerns regarding Iran.