President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Friday bid farewell to US President Joe Biden upon the conclusion of his successful visit to Israel and ahead of his departure for Saudi Arabia.
"Today is a historic day. After intense behind the scenes diplomacy with Saudi Arabia and the United States, Saudi airspace will now be open to Israeli airlines," Prime Minister Lapid said.
"I would like to thank President Biden, for his visit here in Israel and for his commitment to a strong Israel and a prosperous region. I wish him success in Jeddah."
Lapid added that Biden's visit was moving for the whole country and praised his commitment to Israel's security.
“I would like to thank the President of the United States, Joe Biden, for a visit that moved our entire country and for his commitment to Israel’s military and diplomatic strength. I wish him success at the Jeddah Summit," BIden said.
"We woke up this morning to happy news. The Saudi aviation authorities have announced that they will be opening Saudi airspace to Israeli airlines. This is the first official step in normalization with Saudi Arabia."
The decision will allow Israeli airlines to fly directly to Asia and Australia.
"This will save vast amounts of fuel, time and money. The savings will directly reach the pockets of Israeli citizens and lower the price of airline tickets," Lapid said.
"I thank the Saudi leadership for the opening of Saudi airspace. This is only the first step. We will continue working with necessary caution, for the sake of Israel’s economy, security and the good of our citizens."
This decision was preceded by the signing of the 'Jerusalem Declaration', deepening America’s commitment to Israel’s security, the fight against the Iranian nuclear program and the advancing of normalization initiatives of the Abraham Accords and the Negev Summit."
Lapid added: "The visit has had additional achievements but it will be years before they can be discussed."