Hassan Kaabia: UAE-Israel real peace is building a new reality for entire region

We present you with an exclusive interview with Hassan Kaabia is an Israeli diplomat, spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Arab Media. He holds a BA and MA in Political Science and the Middle East History, that has been held by UAEVOICE, through our questions he was able to express his opinion on the significance of the ongoing cooperation between the UAE and Israel in a number of areas.

The interview with Mr. Hassan Kaabia goes as the following:

At the beginning of our conversation, we welcome you to Mr. Hassan Kaabia, the official spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Arab media. We are pleased to have a rich dialogue with you on a number of issues arising from the peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel last September.

We all know that the peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is one of the most important steps in the history of the entire Middle East region, due to its apparent effects in the short, medium and long terms on a number of vital sectors such as economy, industry, energy, technology, etc., and this requires raising an important economic question.

What are the main consequences of the agreement on the Gulf markets and Israel, starting with Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

Mr. Hassan Kaabia said: This is a historic agreement that will lead to great change not only for Israel and the United Arab Emirates but for the entire Middle East. The agreement will significantly contribute to achieving peace, stability and security in the region and will pave the way for cooperation between countries in a wide range of fields, including economic development and facing common challenges.

Mr. Hassan Kaabia added that: The State of Israel has sought to achieve real peace with its neighbours since its establishment, and the agreement with the United Arab Emirates is a very important cornerstone in building a new reality for the entire region.

Hassan Kaabia: UAE & Israel peace agreement achievements

There have been talks recently, following the conclusion of the peace agreement, of ambitious infrastructure projects, such as a railway project linking the port of Haifa on the Mediterranean with the UAE, which will turn current trade routes upside down. Is this true ?! And if so, what benefits will the two countries reap from such projects?

Mr. Hassan Kaabia said: Israel and the UAE are two advanced countries with impressive capabilities in various fields, and I believe that the potential for cooperation between us is enormous. I see cooperation in all areas: entrepreneurship and technology, health, science, water, and of course trade, aviation and tourism. The agreement will allow us to better address common challenges, both in terms of security and regional stability and global challenges such as climate change and desertification.

Faced with all these challenges, we can, of course, add the fight against the Coronavirus that has infected the whole world in recent months, and it will remain an important factor in our lives in the near future. Corona epidemic knows no borders, so the solution must be cross-border.

Mr. Hassan Kaabia added that: I am very pleased that cooperation between countries in certain areas is already in place, and we will work to expand it for the benefit of the two peoples and all peoples of the region.

As for linking the countries of the Middle East by railways, yes, there is an Israeli vision for years to link the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia through Jordan, and from there to Israel, Haifa port and from there to the Mediterranean, Europe and America, and this project will make the Mediterranean gateway to the UAE, in addition to that the entire agreement will be the basis for major modernization. Very much for the UAE and Israeli economy.

Mr. Hassan Kaabia clarified that: Regional Peace Railway This is the name that has been given to the project since 2018, and it will start from Haifa into the Palestinian territories to pass through the Sheikh Hussein Bridge that connects to Jordan, and from there to the city of Irbid in the north, and then to the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia.

There is also a security vision for everything related to Bab al-Mandab and Iran, and it will also reduce the distance between the Gulf, Europe and America.

The UAE and the Gulf countries have a lot of money that goes to consumption, trade, tourism, real estate, and the purchase of various technologies, and in return, Israel owns a large portion of these technologies through a diversified production and technological base that is superior in more than one field.

How can a peace agreement between the UAE and Israel help the two sides coordinate in such aspects?

Mr. Hassan Kaabia said: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed is a true leader who has led his people to prosperity and success over the years and the transformation of the UAE into an advanced country, a first-class initiative and pioneer in everything related to trading and the exchange of full coordination in all fields – Israel is a very advanced country in everything related to different technologies and technology

Regarding the tourism sector, how can the agreement help revitalize this sector between the United Arab Emirates and Israel? Is it possible to see mutual tourist groups between the two sides in the near future, especially since Israel has placed the UAE on the list of green countries from which travel to and return is permitted without the need to undergo a quarantine related to preventive measures for the Coronavirus?

Mr. Hassan Kaabia said: I hope that soon we will also see direct flights between Israel and the Emirates, which will allow Israeli tourists to visit the Emirates and tourists from the Emirates to visit Israel. I am sure that this interconnectedness is a part of the basis of the system of relations that have been woven between us over the years. These trips will also allow the promotion of trade between the two countries. Which will lead to real prosperity for both countries. And the status of the UAE as a green country will make it easier for travellers.

We learned in international newspapers this week that both Israel and Jordan announced an agreement that would allow flights to operate through their airspace and shorten flight times between the Gulf countries, Europe and America, and this agreement includes flight routes departing from countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Qatar.

What are the implications of signing this agreement at that vital time? How will it contribute to the development of the aviation field in the states that are parties to it and even those affected by it and the aforementioned?

Mr. Hassan Kaabia said: Israel and Jordan signed a historic aviation agreement allowing for the first time flights across the airspace of both countries. This agreement will lead to shortening flight hours between the Gulf States, Asia, the Far East, and between Europe and North America. The agreement includes flight routes departing from countries such as Iraq, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Hassan Kaabia added that: The agreement was signed by the civil aviation authorities of both countries. The agreement is expected to lead to lower travel prices and fuel savings. The pace of these negotiations was accelerated after the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s approval of the passage of flights departing from Israel in its airspace.

The agreement is a new way of cooperating with countries that have similar borders and interests with Israel and a partnership in the vision of regional peace.

Regarding the summit that brought together the Emirati Foreign Minister with his Israeli counterpart, Mr. Gabi Ashkenazi, in Berlin-Germany, what are the implications of this summit after the announcement of the peace agreement between the Arab Emirates and Israel in mid-September? And why did it come with German sponsorship?

Mr. Hassan Kaabia said: The meeting was held under the auspices of Germany in a place where 6 million Jews were killed by the German Nazi-led by Hitler, and Germany’s message to the world is peace and to a prosperous future without hatred. The Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi said that the meeting symbolizes the beginning of a new era and a covenant of peace between peoples and continued our common signature with In the memorial book, the UAE foreign minister is like a common cry and oath: to remember and not forget, to be strong and to promise not to be repeated.

Mr. Hassan Kaabia added that: “It is a great honour for the Israeli and Emirati foreign ministers to choose Berlin as the location for their historic first meeting,” said Maas, German Foreign Minister.

After their talks at the German Foreign Ministry, the ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Israel expressed their willingness to begin cooperation in areas including technological development and security.

US President Donald Trump’s senior advisor, Jared Kushner, announced his hope for concluding peace agreements between Arab countries and Israel, which opened the way to talk about the possibility of other Arab countries following the example of the United Arab Emirates.

Who are these countries, based on your vision and appreciation?

Mr. Hassan Kaabia said: Other countries are studying the developments and seeing the leadership that the UAE and Bahrain have shown. I hope these countries will also choose an approach similar to that of the UAE. I think more and more countries in the region are realizing that Israel is not their enemy, but that they can have a privileged partner with whom they share common interests and aspirations.

Mr. Hassan Kaabia added that: There are new and positive winds and I hope and believe that many countries will join the regional peace alliance, these countries seeking peace in exchange for those countries that call for war and undermining security stability in the countries of the Middle East and the Gulf states, such as Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

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