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World News

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

FILE PHOTO: Bahrain's Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister, Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani speaks during the Gateway Gulf at Manama, Bahrain May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

JERUSALEM/DUBAI (Reuters) - 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 formalised 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.

Writing by Dan Williams and Maha El Dahan; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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