Israel opens its embassy in Abu Dhabi

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Israel opens its embassy in Abu Dhabi

Move comes hours after the Emriati decision to open an embassy in Tel Aviv, with the Israeli mission being led by Eitan Na’eh, the former deputy ambassador in London

El Al's flight LY971 after landing at the airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 31 August 2020.  Photo by: Amos Ben Gershom-GPO Via JINIPIX
El Al's flight LY971 after landing at the airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 31 August 2020. Photo by: Amos Ben Gershom-GPO Via JINIPIX

Israel officially opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi on Sunday – within hours of the Emirati government’s decision to open an embassy in Tel Aviv.

The Israeli mission is being led by Eitan Na’eh, a former deputy ambassador in London who later became Israel’s man in Turkey.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said: “The opening of the mission will enable the expansion of bilateral ties between Israel and the UAE, and the full and quick implementation of the potential inherent in our relations.”

He added that a UAE embassy in Tel Aviv “will facilitate the promotion of the warm ties between our countries and peoples”.

In a sign of the speeding thaw between the Jewish state and the Arab world, the Israeli cabinet also approved Israel’s normalisation agreement with Morocco in a unanimous vote. It will now go to the Israeli parliament for a final decision.

Prime Minister Netanyahu called the agreement “a historic moment after four peace agreements with four Muslim and Arab states in four months” while Defence Minister Benny Gantz paid tribute to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI for his “bold leadership”.

Israel and the Gulf states are cooperating in the push to persuade new US President Biden not to rejoin the Obama-era nuclear accord with Iran, arguing that sanctions-relief provides Tehran with money to finance its proxies such as Hezbollah.

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