Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to visit the United Arab Emirates but has postponed the trip due to difficulties in coordinating an air corridor over Jordan, his office says.
The trip would have been the first by a leader of Israel, which formalised relations with the Gulf power last year, as well as a foreign policy flourish for Netanyahu ahead of his bid for re-election on March 23.
The UAE had not formally confirmed the planned visit, which leaked to Israeli media on Wednesday.
According to a statement issued by Netanyahu’s office, he and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan agreed to reschedule.
A hold-up in overflight permission from Amman for Netanyahu’s plane “apparently” stemmed from the cancellation of a visit by Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah to Jerusalem’s al Aqsa mosque compound on Wednesday over a dispute regarding security arrangements at the site, the statement said.
Permission eventually came through but too late for Netanyahu’s itinerary, which included meeting his visiting Hungarian and Czech counterparts later on Thursday, it said.