Israel Officially Opens Embassy in UAE

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The first official flight from the United Arab Emirates lands in Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, November 26, 2020.
The first official flight from the United Arab Emirates lands in Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, November 26, 2020. Credit: Emil Salman

Israel officially opened its embassy in the United Arab Emirates, the Foreign Ministry announced Sunday.

The embassy, located in Abu Dhabi, opened with the arrival of the Israeli official appointed to head the mission, Eitan Na’eh, who previously served as the ambassador to Turkey. The embassy will be operating out of the temporary offices until a suitable building can be found, the ministry said.

"Opening the embassy will allow for the expansion of the bilateral ties between Israel and the UAE to quickly and maximally implement the hidden potential in these relations," Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the embassy will advance “all of the relations between the countries in every field, and expand the ties with the Emirati government, economic institutions and the private sector, academic figures, media and more.” It will also advance Israeli interests in the country and serve its citizens in the UAE.

In another few weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will fly to the UAE in order to participate in the embassy's official opening ceremony, which has already been canceled twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. Netanyahu will also stop in Bahrain for a ceremony at the Israeli embassy there.

The UAE approved the establishment of its own embassy in Tel Aviv earlier on Sunday, the Gulf state's Twitter account said.

Israel and the UAE signed a normalization agreement in Washington D.C. in September. Since then, tens of thousands of Israeli tourists have visited the UAE. 

Israel is expected to open a communications office in Rabat, Morocco and a general consulate in Dubai in the coming days. This is in addition to the newly-opened Israeli Embassy in Manama, Bahrain, which has been operating for a number of weeks.

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