New York, NY, July 15, 2022 – The American Jewish Congress applauds the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its decision to open its airspace, allowing Israeli aircraft and “all air carriers that meet the requirements of the authority” to fly within the Kingdom’s domain. This step marks an important milestone in fostering a stronger and more prosperous relationship between Israel and the Arab world and will contribute to the economic growth and advancement of peace between the two nations.
For years, diplomatic dialogue between Israel and other Arab nations has garnered warm results, but when dealing with a decision of this magnitude, turning words into action is much easier said than done. With that said, after the tireless efforts of the Biden administration, coupled with diplomatic cooperation from a number of partners, this groundbreaking development has come to light. The American Jewish Congress is grateful for the President’s efforts to achieve this win, and we applaud both Saudi and Israeli officials for their cooperation on this important and defining matter. With his landing, President Biden has become the first sitting President to travel to Saudi Arabia from Israel – marking a significant victory for diplomacy. After spending time in Jerusalem and meeting with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the President’s travel to the Kingdom from Israel crafts the potential for millions to one day follow in his footsteps.
This decision marks a vital evolution between Israel and Saudi Arabia, advancing the potential for eventual diplomatic relations. With the dawning of the Abraham Accords, and the recent establishment of the Negev Forum, the Gulf has become more open to warming ties with the Jewish State, and with the Kingdom’s decision to open its airspace to Israeli aircraft – we become one step closer to increasing that partnership.
In addition to this breakthrough effort on the part of Saudi Arabia, Israel has also approved the transition of the Red Sea Islands from Egyptian to Saudi control. This clear token of goodwill and display of trust is paramount to building the eventual ties that will define everlasting cooperation throughout the Middle East. The actions of Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia create the basis for the hopeful advancement of peace and diplomacy between the two on the world stage.
The American Jewish Congress looks forward to continued engagement and leadership from the Biden Administration on this front, and we remain ready to assist in any possible way in the continuance of fostering a more open and prosperous Middle East.