UAE becomes 1st Gulf nation to open embassy in Israel

The new mission is located in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange building. The ceremony was attended by new Israeli President Isaac Herzog, The Times of Israel reported.
Israel's President Isaac Herzog, left, cuts a ribbon with United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja during the opening ceremony for the new UAE Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.(AP)
Israel's President Isaac Herzog, left, cuts a ribbon with United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja during the opening ceremony for the new UAE Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.(AP)
Published on Jul 15, 2021 04:48 AM IST
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ANI | , Tel Aviv

The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday became the first Gulf nation to open an embassy in Israel, nearly a year after both countries signed an agreement to normalise diplomatic ties.

The new mission is located in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange building. The ceremony was attended by new Israeli President Isaac Herzog, The Times of Israel reported.

UAE Ambassador Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah officially presented his credentials at the beginning of March but the official opening was not held until now.

"It is a great honour to open the embassy here. Ten months ago our two countries signed the Abraham Accords with a vision of dignity, prosperity and peace for the two peoples," Khajah said at the ceremony Wednesday.

He added: "This is just the beginning. Both countries are innovative nations and we will harness these new approaches for the prosperity of the countries."

Herzog, who took office last week, hailed the embassy opening as an "important step for the entire Middle East."

Last month, Israel Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited the UAE on the first official trip by an Israeli minister to the Gulf state, where he inaugurated the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate in Dubai.

The visit came nearly a year after Israel and the UAE announced they would normalise ties, and after months during which planned visits by Israeli officials were stymied by a series of issues, ranging from health crises to diplomatic scuffles.

Israel and the UAE announced in August 2020 that they would normalise diplomatic relations, bringing over a decade of covert ties into the open. Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco later also joined the US-brokered Abraham Accords, and other countries were also rumoured to be in talks.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021