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Dubai to allow Israeli to play in tennis tourney

WASHINGTON  (JTA) — Dubai will allow a male Israeli tennis player to compete in a tournament a week after it banned a female tennis star from its soil.

The United Arab Emirates will permit Andy Ram to participate in the Dubai Tennis Championships, according to U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who had raised the matter with the UAE embassy in Washington.

"Over the last several days I have had a series of conversations with Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba about the very troubling steps taken by the United Arab Emirates government to deny an Israeli tennis player a visa to play in the Dubai Tennis Championship," Weiner said in a statement Wednesday. "I made it clear that I felt this was a setback for a nation that had made commendable efforts to foster understanding and tolerance."

Weiner said that as a result of the discussions, Al Otaiba informed him that Dubai would issue a visa for Ram to participate in the tournament.

Jewish groups had called on tennis associations and corporate sponsors to sanction Dubai for banning Shahar Pe’er, the 48th-ranked women’s player, from playing last week.

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