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Saudi Arabia will let all airlines use its airspace, even those from Israel.

Saudi Arabia announced it will open its airspace to all air carriers, clearing the way for additional overflights to and from Israel, in a move applauded by U.S. President Joe Biden who is expected to visit the country on Friday.

The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said the country’s airspace was now open to all carriers that fulfil its conditions for overflights, in accordance with international accords that dictate there should be no discrimination between civil aircraft.

The decision would “support the initiatives aimed at solidifying the kingdom’s position as a worldwide hub connecting three continents and to promote international air connectivity,” GACA said in a statement.

Some routes to and from Israel have taken longer and used more fuel because they avoided flying over Saudi Arabia.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan claimed that US President Joe Biden was “quite pleased” with the outcome.

According to Sullivan’s statement, “this decision clears the way for a more integrated, stable, and secure Middle East region,” which is crucial for the safety and well-being of both the United States and its people and Israel.

A U.S. official had earlier informed Reuters that Saudi Arabia was planning to allow direct charter flights from Israel to Mecca for Muslims making the annual hajj pilgrimage.

The Islamic world’s birthplace, Saudi Arabia, does not recognize Israel and has made no public dialogue on the possibility of improved ties between the two countries.

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