Emirates officially open their first embassy in Israel
Steph Deschamps / July 14, 2021
After the recent inauguration of an Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates opened its first embassy in Israel on Wednesday in Tel Aviv, a key step in the normalization of relations between the two countries.
With the opening of this diplomatic mission, located in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange building, the UAE becomes the third Arab country to have an embassy on Israeli soil after Egypt and Jordan. The UAE and Israel are two countries of innovation, we can use this creativity to work together for a more prosperous and stable future for our two countries and the region, said the UAE ambassador to Israel, Mohamed Mahmoud Fateh Ali Al-Khaja, at the inauguration. This historic agreement must be extended to other countries seeking peace with Israel, said Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who attended the ceremony held in the lobby of the Stock Exchange, two floors below the embassy offices, according to an AFP team on site.
The Emirates and Israel had announced the normalization of their relations in the summer of 2020, spurred by the former U.S. administration of Donald Trump. Bahrain, another Gulf monarchy, as well as Morocco and Sudan, have also announced normalization agreements with Israel in recent months. At the end of June, the new head of Israeli diplomacy, Yair Lapid, visited the Emirates to inaugurate the first Israeli embassy in a Gulf country. A step that had been welcomed by the United States, a major ally of Israel, but castigated by the Palestinians. From the secular Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas to the Islamists of Hamas, the Palestinians have denounced these agreements of normalization calling them treason on the part of Arab countries, because they consider that this process should take place after and not before the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.