The United Arab Emirates has become the first Gulf state to open an embassy in Israel. UAE’s envoy hailed the trade and investment opportunities that closer ties would bring at a flag-raising ceremony, which was also attended by Israel’s president. The opening of the UAE embassy, which is situated in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, followed the inauguration of Israel’s embassy in the UAE last month.
UAE ambassador Mohamed Al Khaja said that since the normalisation of ties, we have seen for the first time discussions on trade and investment opportunities. He added that major agreements across various fields, including economy, air travel, technology and culture have been signed. Israeli President Isaac Herzog called the opening of the embassy “an important milestone in our journey towards the future, peace prosperity and security” for the Middle East.
He said that seeing the Emirati flag flying proudly in Tel Aviv might have seemed like a far-fetched dream about a year ago. In many ways nothing could be more natural and normal. Brought together by shared unease about Iran, the UAE and Bahrain normalised relations with Israel last year under the “Abraham Accords” crafted by the administration of then-US President Donald Trump. Sudan and Morocco have since also moved to establish ties with Israel.