UAE opens embassy in Israel after normalization deal – .

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UAE opens embassy in Israel after normalization deal – .


Tel Aviv (AFP)

The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday opened an embassy in Israel, housed in the new Tel Aviv Stock Exchange building, as part of the latest normalization operation under a deal Washington brokered last year.

The venue in the heart of Israel’s financial district underscored the central role that economic cooperation has played since the UAE became only the third Arab-majority country to recognize the Jewish state.

During the ceremony, which was attended by new Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Emirati Ambassador Mohamed al-Khaja called the opening of the embassy “an important step in the growing relationship between our two countries.”

“The UAE and Israel are both innovative nations, we can harness this creativity to work towards a more prosperous and sustainable future for our countries and our region,” he said.

Herzog called for the “historic agreement” with the United Arab Emirates to be “extended to other nations seeking peace with Israel.”

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have signed a series of deals – ranging from tourism to aviation to financial services – since normalizing relations under the so-called Abrahamic Accords brokered by the administration of the former US President Donald Trump.

Wednesday’s ceremony, held in the lobby of the stock exchange building two floors below the embassy, ​​came after Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid paid a historic visit to the United Arab Emirates in the month last, opening an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate in Dubai.

The Palestinians were outraged by the UAE’s decision to establish relations with Israel, which broke decades of Arab consensus that there should be no normalization of relations without a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Following the agreement with the United Arab Emirates, Israel normalized its relations with Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, agreements which also sparked Palestinian protests.

But Israel and the United Arab Emirates have sought to highlight the economic dividend offered by normalization.

Lapid told UAE media last month that bilateral trade has reached more than $ 675.22 million since the signing of the Abrahamic Accords in September 2020.

Israel’s wave of normalization deals was concluded under former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Lapid was an architect of the coalition that ousted Netanyahu last month, but has pledged, along with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, to uphold Netanyahu’s policy of deepening ties with the Arab world.

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