American Jewish Committee to Open First Office in the Arab World in the UAE

The U.S. Jewish advocacy group has been engaging with UAE officials for a quarter of a century

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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Emirati, Israeli and American and flags fly upon the arrival of Israeli and U.S. delegates at Abu Dhabi International Airport, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, August 31, 2020.
Emirati, Israeli and American and flags fly upon the arrival of Israeli and U.S. delegates at Abu Dhabi International Airport, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, August 31, 2020.Credit: CHRISTOPHER PIKE/ REUTERS
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

The American Jewish Committee announced Wednesday night that it is opening an office in the United Arab Emirates, as part of its 25 years of work towards advancing cooperation between Arab states and the Jewish people.

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The move comes amid  normalization talks between Israel and the UAE, and extensive collaboration with the Emirati government.

The UAE office will be the U.S. Jewish advocacy group's 13th office outside of the United States, and the first in the Arab world. An AJC delegation visited the UAE at least once a year for the past two decades, and held meetings and consulted with UAE and U.S. officials.

In the past months, UAE officials used the AJC's platforms to present their position on cooperation with Israel. The country's ambassador to the UN, Lana Nusseibeh, and its foreign minister, Anwar Karkash, are among the UAE officials who have spoken at AJC events.

The AJC was founded in 1906. It presents itself as an apolitical group that deals with global diplomacy, and works towards Israel's security, tightening ties between the United States and Israel and advocating for the Jewish people. Its executive director is David Harris, and the director of its Israel branch is Lt. Col. (Res.) Avital Leibovich.

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