UAE's Admittance Policies
I would like to clarify some points in the Feb. 19 editorial "Out of Bounds," about the United Arab Emirates and holders of Israeli passports.
It is important to note that the UAE granted a visa to Israeli player Andy Ram to participate in this week's tennis tournament in Dubai. It was regrettable that a visa could not be arranged last week for women's player Shahar Peer.
UAE policy permits entry to any individual from any member country of the United Nations to take part in international sports, cultural and economic events or activities being held in the UAE. As an important venue for international conferences and events, the UAE has admitted citizens from Israel in the past to attend internationally sanctioned events such as professional conferences, or those sponsored by the World Bank, the IMF and the United Nations.
While the UAE does not have official diplomatic relations with Israel, the UAE, along with the larger Arab League, believes that full, normalized relations with Israel can happen after the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace. Toward that end, the UAE has been an active participant in international peace initiatives, has challenged extremism of all kinds, and has provided significant humanitarian aid and infrastructure support to the Palestinian Authority.
YOUSEF AL OTAIBA
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates