Trump meets with UAE president Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan
Trump meets with UAE president Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-NahyanReuters

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced Saturday it had repealed legislation imposing a boycott of Israel after the two countries struck a US-brokered deal to normalize relations.

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan issued a federal decree "abolishing the Federal Law No. 15 of 1972 regarding boycotting Israel and the penalties thereof," the official WAM news agency reported.

"It will be permissible to enter, exchange or possess Israeli goods and products of all kinds in the UAE and trade in them."

The UAE will be the first Gulf state and only the third Arab country to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel -- a move condemned by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas as a betrayal.

Companies and individuals in the UAE may now enter into agreements with firms or individuals residing in Israel, WAM reported.

As part of the agreement announced by US President Donald Trump earlier this month, Israel agreed to suspend planned annexations in Judea and Samaria, although Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu quickly insisted the plans remained on the table.

The UAE's latest move comes ahead of the arrival of an Israeli-American delegation to Abu Dhabi on the first commercial flight from Israel on Monday.

The delegation, led by top aide and son-in-law to US President Donald Trump Jared Kushner and Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat will seek ways to boost cooperation in areas including aviation, tourism, trade, health, energy and security, according to Netanyahu's office.

On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Netanyahu responded: "I welcome the decision of the United Arab Emirates to repeal the law banning products from Israel and economic contacts with Israelis. This is an important step in promoting prosperity and peace in the region."

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White) said: "UAE's decision to abolish the boycott on Israel is an important step towards peace, which will yield substantial economic and commercial achievements for both people while strengthening the stability in the region. I praise the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for this historic decision and call upon other countries to follow the UAE brave footsteps."

"This is also an opportunity to thank the people at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for their work behind the scenes for the last two decade. Their work has laid the diplomatic and economic infrastructure whose fruit we see today."

Thanking the UAE in Arabic, Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen (Blue and White) on Saturday tweeted: "Meeting people for economic trade and common ideas - these are the foundations of strong cooperation. The UAE's cancellation of its boycott laws is an example to all those calling for boycotts and hate that they can, and should, act differently."