The UAE has opened its embassy in Israel, in the latest normalization step under an agreement brokered by Washington last year.
The embassy is located in the new stock exchange building in Tel Aviv. The location of the embassy, located in the heart of Israel’s financial district, highlighted the central role of economic cooperation in the agreement between the two countries, after the UAE became the third Arab country to recognize Israel. After Egypt and Jordan.
Emirati Ambassador Mohammed Al Khaja described the opening of the embassy as “an important milestone in the growing relations between our two countries.” At the ceremony, which was attended by the new Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog, he said: “The United Arab Emirates and Israel are two innovative countries, and we can harness this creativity to work towards a more prosperous and sustainable future for our countries and our region.” Herzog called for expanding the “historic agreement” with the UAE “to include other countries that seek peace with Israel.”
Israel and the UAE signed a set of deals – including tourism, aviation, and financial services – after normalizing relations within the framework of the so-called “Ibrahim agreements” brokered by the administration of former US President Donald Trump. Two floors below the embassy, after Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited the UAE at the end of last June, and opened an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate in Dubai. There should be normalization of relations without a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. After the UAE agreement, Israel normalized relations with Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan within the framework of the same “Abraham Accords.” Israel and the UAE sought to emphasize the economic gains that normalization provides.
Lapid told Emirati media last month that bilateral trade had reached more than $675.22 million since the signing of the Abraham Accords in September 2020. The two sides agreed on a series of Israeli normalization deals under former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Lapid was an architect of the coalition that ousted Netanyahu. Last month, however, he pledged, along with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, to “continue Netanyahu’s policy of establishing deeper relations with the Arab world.”