UAE Ambassador to Israel Arrives in Historic First Visit to Tel Aviv

Mohamed Al Khaja began his search for an embassy location and told Foreign Minister Ashkenazi that he is 'very proud and honored to be the first Emirati ambassador' to Israel

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Mohamed Al-Khaja meeting Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi today
Mohamed Al-Khaja meeting Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi today Credit: Israel Foreign Ministry
Reuters

The first United Arab Emirates ambassador to Israel arrived there on Monday pledging to build up new bilateral relations and officials said he would scout for an embassy location in the Tel Aviv area.

Mohamed Al Khaja, former chief of staff to the UAE foreign minister, was set to present his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the start of a three-day visit.

Meeting Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi in Jerusalem, Al Khaja, 40, said he was "very proud and honored to be the first Emirati ambassador" to Israel, where, he said, he and his hosts were discussing "the model of how we operate".

"My mission here is to foster and develop this relationship...and we hope this will bring peace and prosperity to the people in the Middle East," he said.

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The UAE and Israel formalized ties in a Washington ceremony on September 15, brought together by shared concern about Iran.

Their so-called "Abraham Accords", joined by Bahrain, have uncorked tourism and commerce between Israel and Gulf Arab countries. Palestinians have been critical of the rapprochement, worried that their own unmet statehood goal might be sidelined.

According to the UAE Foreign Ministry, Al-Khalja has experience in the energy, disarmament, business development and oil investment sectors.

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