Israel, Bahrain tourism ministers speak, discuss joint ventures with UAE

The flags of Israel, UAE, and Bahrain are projected on the ramparts of Jerusalem's Old City on September 15, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 17 September 2020

Israel, Bahrain tourism ministers speak, discuss joint ventures with UAE

  • The tourism ministers of Israel and Bahrain discussed possible ventures including three-way travel packages involving the UAE
  • In an interview, Zamir said he hopes tourism between Israel and the UAE could start early next year

JERUSALEM/DUBAI: The tourism ministers of Israel and Bahrain held a first publicly acknowledged phone call on Thursday and discussed possible ventures including three-way travel packages involving the United Arab Emirates, an Israeli statement said.
The conversation between Israel’s Asaf Zamir and Bahrain’s Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani followed a White House ceremony on Tuesday at which their countries pledged to establish relations. The UAE and Israel also formalized ties at the same event.
In an interview with a local Emirati newspaper, Zamir said he hopes tourism between Israel and the UAE could start early next year.
“Agreements to do with visas and tourism are at an advanced stage, and the two sides are expected to reach a deal soon,” Al-Ittihad newspaper quoted the Israeli minister as saying on Thursday.
Emirates Flight Catering also said earlier it had signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a dedicated production facility, Kosher Arabia, for kosher food at its premises in the UAE with production beginning in January.


Algerian president, 75, self isolates as pandemic spreads

Updated 24 October 2020

Algerian president, 75, self isolates as pandemic spreads

  • Tebboune is self isolating because some officials in “upper ranks of the government” are sick with COVID-19
  • “I assure you, my brothers and sisters, that I am well and healthy and that I continue my work,” he said

ALGIERS: Algeria’s 75-year-old President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is self isolating because some officials in “upper ranks of the government” are sick with COVID-19, he said in a Tweet on Saturday.
Tebboune took office in December in an election that came amidst months of mass protests which forced his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power after 20 years.
“I assure you, my brothers and sisters, that I am well and healthy and that I continue my work,” he said, saying his decision was taken on the advice of medical staff.
The global pandemic struck Algeria’s economy as it faced long-term challenges posed by the decline of the oil and gas revenues that finance its historically lavish state spending.
So far, Algeria has officially confirmed more than 55,000 cases of the coronavirus with nearly 2,000 deaths.
Though the pandemic forced an end to the weekly mass protest marches through Algiers and other cities that lasted for more than a year, the political challenges remain.
Tebboune has pushed for changes to Algeria’s referendum to limit presidential terms while expanding the powers of the parliament and judiciary.
However, many people in the leaderless protest movement believe their core goals of replacing the old ruling elite and forcing the army to stay out of politics remain unmet.
Algerians will vote in a referendum on the new constitution on Nov. 1, with Tebboune and the country’s powerful army generals seeking a high turnout in order to turn a page on the protests.