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Israeli business delegations led by banks Hapoalim, Leumi to visit UAE

Israelis wearing masks and gloves against the coronavirus outside a branch of Israel's Bank Hapoalim in Jerusalem on May 1, 2020 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]
Israelis wearing masks and gloves against the coronavirus outside a branch of Israel's Bank Hapoalim in Jerusalem on May 1, 2020 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

The heads of Israel’s two biggest banks will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this month, the first such visits since the two countries agreed to normalise relations, reports Reuters.

One delegation led by Bank Hapoalim will leave on September 8 and visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where it will meet with government and trade officials as well as the heads of the largest banks in the UAE.

Hapoalim CEO Dov Kotler on Sunday called it “a unique opportunity to establish economic relations and cooperation between our countries and their financial systems, which will yield economic growth for both parties.”

He added there was an “immediate bilateral desire” to establish strong economic ties.

The chairman and CEO of Bank Leumi will head a second delegation on September 14. Leumi said it hoped to build on the diplomatic accord by kick-starting cooperation in finance, technology, health, tourism, agriculture and industry.

Official: UAE to open embassy in Israel in 3-5 months

Israel and the UAE announced in August they would normalise diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship in a US-brokered deal. Last week, they agreed to set up a joint committee to cooperate on financial services, aiming to promote investment between the two countries.

First Abu Dhabi Bank, the UAE’s largest lender, said last week it would open discussions with Hapoalim and Leumi.

Read: El Al to fly first cargo flight to Dubai by an Israeli carrier

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