UAE Opens Embassy in Tel Aviv

Reuters
Jonathan Lis
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Israeli President Issac Herzog, left, and UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the new UAE embassy in Tel Aviv, on Wednesday.
Israeli President Issac Herzog, left, and UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the new UAE embassy in Tel Aviv, on Wednesday.Credit: Ariel Schalit,AP
Reuters
Jonathan Lis

The United Arab Emirates opened its embassy in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, with recently sworn-in President Isaac Herzog and the UAE's ambassador to Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, attending the inaugural ceremony.

The embassy is situated in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange building and its opening followed the inauguration of Israel's embassy in the UAE last month and the signing of the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords last year, which aimed to normalize relations between Israel and each of the UAE and Bahrain.  

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Al Khaja, raised his country's flag outside the Stock Exchange building, with Herzog at his side.

Israeli President Issac Herzog and UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja, at the opening ceremony of the new UAE embassy in Tel Aviv, on Wednesday.Credit: AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS

"Seeing the [UAE] flag in Tel Aviv was a distant dream just a year ago and now it looks normal," Herzog said: "We made the impossible possible."

Herzog, who was sworn in as Israel's 11th president just last week, expressed gratitude for being able to take part in such a historic event at the start of his tenure.

He also thanked former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed for leading the process, and alluded to the possibility of more regional peace agreements soon. 

President Issac Herzog and UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja, on WednesdayCredit: Moti Milrod

Greeting the crowd in Arabic and Hebrew, the UAE ambassador described the opening of the embassy as "an important milestone," marking "a significant point in the vision of the Abraham Accords" and cooperating between the two nations.

"This is only the beginning," said the UAE ambassador. "Since the normalization of relationships, we have seen trade talks and investment opportunities, as well as collaborations between hospitals and universities."

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at the inauguration of the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi, last month.Credit: Shlomi Amsalem / GPO

"The embassy will not only be a home for diplomats but a basis for our continued mission," Al Khaja continued. "We expect to continue working to make the Abraham Accords a reality."

Brought together by shared worries about Iran and hopes for commercial boons, the UAE and Bahrain normalized relations with Israel last year under the "Abraham Accords" crafted by the administration of then-U.S. President Donald Trump. Sudan and Morocco have since also moved to establish ties with Israel.

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