By Dan Williams (NYSE:)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel has cancelled its deliberate participation in a significant defence expo within the United Arab Emirates subsequent week as a consequence of COVID-19 curbs on air journey, Israeli officers mentioned on Monday.
Dozens of Israeli defence corporations had been due to participate within the IDEX (NYSE:) convention in Abu Dhabi from Feb. 21-25 – a primary for each international locations, which final September established formal relations after closing ranks given their shared worries about Iran.
However officers from Israel’s Defence Ministry and Regional Cooperation Ministry mentioned the plan was cancelled. They cited Israel’s Jan. 26 ban on worldwide air journey, which remains to be in drive because it tries to reverse a surge in COVID-19 contagion.
A Defence Ministry spokeswoman mentioned it requested particular permission for the corporations to fly out to the UAE capital, however was refused by a Regional Cooperation Ministry authorisation panel.
A Regional Cooperation Ministry spokesman mentioned the request “needed to be denied, regardless of the need to advance promote defence exercise, and given the necessity to making unprejudiced choices”.
The enterprise newspaper Globes quoted an unidentified senior consultant of an Israeli defence agency as saying that the cancellation would spell “enormous” losses of offers to rivals.
“The Emirati hosts have been supremely pleasant and rolled out the pink carpet. We have been meant to have been the main target of the expo, with a number of top-of-the-line merchandise and reveals,” the consultant was quoted as saying. “All that, for nothing?”
Israel and the UAE had, as a part of their U.S.-backed rapprochement, proposed defence and army cooperation.
However anticipated exchanges of defence delegations have but to occur – a byproduct, Israeli sources mentioned, of coalition feuding between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Benny Gantz as they put together to contest a March poll.
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