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Voice of America – English: Israel Opens First Embassy in the United Arab Emirates


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Israel announced the opening of an embassy in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, just more than four months after signing an agreement to normalize relations with this Arab Gulf monarchy.

“The Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi was officially opened today with the arrival of the mission’s representative, Eitan Na’eh,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that the Israeli delegation will work to further deepen the ties between the two countries.

The Israeli embassy, which is housed in temporary offices, will promote “the full spectrum” of relations between the two countries, the Israeli authorities said.  

“The opening of this mission will allow (…) the complete and rapid development of all the potential of our relations,” said the head of the Israeli diplomacy, Gabi Ashkenazi, in a statement.  

Israel has announced in recent months agreements to normalize its relations with four Arab countries: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco under the sponsorship of former U.S. President Donald Trump.  

The Israeli government officially approved the agreement with Morocco on Sunday, which must however still obtain the green light from deputies.  

In the wake of this wave of standardization, many trade agreements have been signed between the United Arab Emirates and Israel in the agriculture, food, tourism and high technology sectors.

An Israeli subsidiary of the French giant EDF has also signed recently a cooperation agreement with a UAE company in the field of renewable energy aimed at making the Jewish state a world leader in solar energy.

The first Israeli diplomat officially stationed in the Emirates, Na’eh had been assigned a few years ago to the Israeli delegation in Turkey before being expelled during a crisis in May 2018 between the two countries over violence in Gaza, Palestinian territory under Israeli blockade.

About 60 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army during protests in Gaza on May 14, 2018, violence lambasted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had notably accused Israel of genocide.

Demonstrators were protesting the transfer of the United States embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, a move by the Trump administration that broke decades of international consensus.  

On Sunday, the United Arab Emirates approved the installation of its first embassy in Tel Aviv, where the majority of diplomatic representations are based because they do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Before the Emirates, Egypt and Jordan established diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, when they signed, in 1979 and 1994 respectively, peace treaties that ended the state of war with neighboring Israel.
 

Voice of America – English