UAE phone lines to Israel open after accord to normalise relations

DUBAI (Reuters) – Telephone lines between the United Arab Emirates and Israel were open on Sunday in a development the Israeli communications minister hailed as important for normalising ties between the countries.

It was not clear when exactly a block on telephone calls made from the UAE to Israel was lifted, but historically calls had not been possible. Reuters made several calls from the UAE to Israel on Sunday.

The UAE’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

More Israeli news websites that were previously blocked in the UAE were also able to be viewed on UAE internet connections on Sunday.

Israel and the UAE on Thursday announced an agreement that will lead to a full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two states.

“I congratulate the United Arab Emirates on the unblocking,” Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel said on Twitter.

“Many economic opportunities will now open up, and these trust-building steps are important for advancing the countries’ interests.”

The UAE’s two main telecoms operators Du and Etisalat did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Lisa Barrington in Dubai and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Editing by Susan Fenton and David Goodman)

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