Netanyahu cancels UAE trip due to Jordan's airspace refusal

Israel's Netanyahu cancels UAE trip after Jordan blocks airspace over crown prince security row
2 min read
11 March, 2021
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled his trip to the UAE after Jordan refused to allow his flight to enter its airspace.
Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled his trip [Getty]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled his trip to the UAE due to a diplomatic row with Jordan, contradicting initial reports that claimed it was postponed due to his wife's hospitalisation.

Netanyahu's office said in a statement that the prime minister's trip to the UAE would not go ahead after Jordan said it would deny his flight entry into its airspace.

Jordan eventually did allow the flight through, but the approval came too late, so Netanyahu and Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed decided to reschedule the visit, the statement said.

The statement added that the issue was likely in response to Amman's dispute with Israel over logistical issues surrounding Jordan Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah's planned visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The crown prince's security detail was denied entry to Israel for the visit forcing the Jordanian royal to cancel his visit.

Earlier on Thursday, Israel's Kan public broadcaster reported that Netanyahu cancelled the visit due to his wife's hospitalisation.

Sara Netanyahu was admitted to Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center with appendicitis on Wednesday, the hospital said.

Kan's report on Thursday indicated that the visit's cancellation may come as a relief to some Emirati officials, who had preferred that the embattled leader visit after Israel's election.

Israel will head to polls for the fourth time in two years on 23 March.

However, Netanyahu might have used the UAE trip to his political advantage in the election after being locked in a tight race with competing parties.

Thursday was Netanyahu's fourth attempt to visit the UAE since the two countries normalised ties in September.

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