Biden welcomes Saudi Arabia's decision to open its airspace to Israeli airplanes

"While this opening has long been discussed, now, thanks to months of steady diplomacy between my administration and Saudi Arabia, it is finally a reality," the president said. 

 Illustrative image of an airplane. (photo credit: PXHERE)
Illustrative image of an airplane.
(photo credit: PXHERE)

US President Joe Biden released a statement on Friday, welcoming Saudi Arabia's decision to allow Israeli airplanes to cross its airspace. He called the decision "an important step towards building a more integrated and stable Middle East region."

"While this opening has long been discussed, now, thanks to months of steady diplomacy between my administration and Saudi Arabia, it is finally a reality," Biden said. 

 Children waving flags as US President Joe Biden arrives to meet Israeli President Isaac Herzog at his residence in Jerusalem, July 14, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN) Children waving flags as US President Joe Biden arrives to meet Israeli President Isaac Herzog at his residence in Jerusalem, July 14, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)

"Today, I will be the first president of the United States to fly from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia," he said. "As we mark this important moment, Saudi Arabia’s decision can help build momentum toward Israel’s further integration into the region, including with Saudi Arabia."

The president said he will do "all that I can, through direct diplomacy and leader-to-leader engagement, to keep advancing this groundbreaking process."