Biden describes the opening of Saudi airspace as historic

DUS President Joe Biden has hailed Saudi Arabia’s opening of airspace to flights to and from Israel as “historic”. This is “an important step on the way to a more integrated and stable Middle East region,” said Biden on Friday shortly before his own flight from Israel to Saudi Arabia. The opening has also become a reality “thanks to months of continuous diplomatic efforts by my government and Saudi Arabia”. Biden is currently in the Middle East on his first visit as President.

The decision could help “advance Israel’s further integration into the region, including with Saudi Arabia,” Biden said in a statement. He will do everything in his power to promote a normalization of relations between the two countries. Biden wanted to travel from Tel Aviv to Jeddah on Friday afternoon.

Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority said Friday the airspace would be “opened to all airlines that meet the authority’s overflight requirements.” The move allows for an overflight for planes flying to and from Israel.

Saudi Arabia had already allowed an Israeli aircraft to fly over on the way to Abu Dhabi almost two years ago and announced that aircraft from the United Arab Emirates to “all countries” would be allowed to use its airspace. The United Arab Emirates and Israel had previously agreed to establish diplomatic relations through US mediation.

Image: FAZ

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly said it will not establish official relations with Israel until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved. Biden is expected to advocate normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia during his visit to the kingdom.

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