- Associated Press - Monday, September 14, 2020

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel’s largest bank announced on Monday that it had signed an agreement with the biggest bank in Dubai ahead of the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Israel and the UAE signed a banking and finance memorandum of understanding earlier this month, paving the way for economic and business cooperation between the two countries.

Bank Hapoalim said in a statement that it had signed the agreement with Emirates NBD last week. Dov Kotler, Hapoalim’s CEO, led an Israeli business delegation to the UAE last week and met with top Emirati business leaders. He said in a statement Monday that the agreement would allow Israeli clients direct transactions in the UAE and other countries.

Emirates NBD CEO Shayne Nelson, said in a statement that the agreement with Hapoalim “will open new business and trade opportunities for our clients and further enhance our leading position as a trusted banking partner to businesses across the MENAT region.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington ahead of Tuesday’s signing of accords to establish normalized relations with the UAE and Bahrain at the White House.

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